Joshua trips up MHS in net finale
District champs advance to this weekend’s bi-district round, will face Forney
JOSHUA — With the District 14-5A championship already in hand, the Class 5A state-ranked Midlothian Lady Panthers traveled to Joshua on Friday evening for their regular-season finale and saw their bid for an undefeated district run ended in a five-set loss, 25-20, 18-25, 25-23, 16-25, 15-13.
The setback plummeted the Lady Panthers from No. 4 all the way to No. 25 in the Texas Girls Coaches Association Class 5A poll. Nonetheless, the Lady Panthers (19-3, 11-1) will be the No. 1 seed and district champion and will move on to this weekend’s Class 5A Region II bi-district round against 13-5A fourth-place team Forney at a site and time to be determined as of midday Monday.
In Friday’s match, Lady Panther sophomore Kenna Buchanan finished with 18 kills and 15 digs and senior Aryn Walton, who last week signed to play volleyball at Dallas Baptist, added 10 kills, 12 digs, three service aces, five blocks and 38 assists.
Payton Rink and Lauren Safrit each added seven kills and four blocks and Uryah Guevara had a team-best six blocks. Jenna McMichael led the squad with 28 digs and Karsyn Curry, who last week committed to Mary Hardin-Baylor, added 10 digs.
The win gave Joshua (15-6, 10-2) the No. 2 seed in the playoffs. Red Oak canceled its volleyball season and will miss the playoffs because of COVID-19 issues, the school announced last week, which elevated Cleburne to No. 3 and Corsicana to No. 4.
The Lady Panthers had the district bye last Tuesday and were idle.