Defending Class 2A state champion Beckville, once again, played a brutal non-district schedule to prepare for the part of the schedule that counts.
Once again, it’s paying off for the Ladycats, and a big reason is the play of senior middle blocker Miranda Mize and sophomore middle blocker Kinsley Rivers.
For their efforts last week in pair of District 20-2A wins, Mize and Rivers share East Texas Volleyball Player of the Week honors for matches played Sept. 30-Oct. 5.
Mize finished the week with 11 kills, seven digs, seven aces and four blocks, and Rivers had 16 kills, nine digs, five aces and three blocks as Beckville knocked off Garrison and Timpson in straight sets.
The two wins moved the Ladycats to 25-13 overall and 6-0 in district play — a game ahead of Timpson in the league standings.
The Ladycats have lost once to a Class 2A team this season, falling to Leon during a tournament. Other losses have come to Class 3A No. 4 ranked Central Heights a couple of times, 6A Killeen Ellison, 5A Hallsville (twice), Lufkin and Whitehouse, 4A No. 5 ranked Carthage twice, 3A No. 7 ranked Sabine, 3A East Bernard and Harmony and private school Southwest Christian Academy.
In other outstanding performances from around East Texas (nominated by coaches):
■ Carthage’s Cami Hicks had 25 kills, 10 blocks and three aces in wins over Center and Pleasant Grove. Teammate Kristen Stewart finished the week with 54 assists, 18 digs and four blocks. McKenna Zett had 25 digs and 10 kills, and Jada McLin finished with 15 kills.
■ Henderson’s Cora Jimerson recorded 55 assists, 15 digs, four kills and two aces.
■ Gilmer’s Haylee Jordan had 15 kills and five blocks in wins over Spring Hill and Cumberland Academy.
■ Big Sandy’s Lizzie Worden handed out 72 assists and added 18 digs, and Airikah Pippins finished the week with 37 kills, eight blocks, 10 digs and four aces.
■ Hawkins’ Logan Jaco had 26 kills and five digs in two matches. Lynli Dacus added 12 kills, 13 assists, five digs, three blocks and an ace while going 21-for-23 on her serve. Alyssa Eddington had 25 assists, eight digs, three blocks and two kills and was 14-for-15 servin. Tenley Conden finished a perfect 13-for-13 serving with an ace, four kills and two digs and Josie Howard was 28-for-28 serving to go along with six digs.
■ Leverett’s Chapel’s Jillian Shaw recorded 30 kills, five blocks, 33 digs and five aces in two matches.
■ Gary’s Gracie Johnson finished the week with 13 kills, 28 digs and five aces, and teammate Emma Adams had 22 digs, 13 kills, 11 blocks and four aces.
Longview, Pine Tree and Spring Hill all host district matches tonight, with the Lady Lobos entertaining North Mesquite in 11-6A, Pine Tree hosting Marshall in 16-5A and Spring Hill taking on Cumberland Academy in 16-4A.
Hallsville visits Whitehouse in 16-5A, while Gilmer hosts Chapel Hill and Henderson entertains Bullard in 16-4A and Carthage plays host to Huntington in a 20-4A skirmish.
In 15-3A, it’s Tatum at Elysian Fields, Hughes Springs at Ore City, New Diana at Jefferson and Waskom at Daingerfield. In 16-3A, White Oak visits Sabine and West Rusk travels to Harmony.
Hawkins hosts Union Grove and Leverett’s Chapel hosts Big Sandy in 19-2A, and Beckville hosts Shelbyville in a 20-2A matchup.
St. Mary’s visits crosstown rival Trinity School of Texas in a private school match.
LeTourneau University, now 11-7 overall and 4-3 in the American Southwest Conference, plays three matches at home this week. The YellowJackets host ETBU at 7 p.m. tonight before Belhaven and Texas Lutheran visit on Saturday for matches at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Panola College moved to 19-3 overall and 4-0 in conference play with wins over Lee College (24-12, 25-18, 20-25, 20-25, 15-9) and No. 16 Blinn (25-21, 25-21, 27-25) over the weekend.
Panola faced Trinity Valley in Athens on Monday and will visit Navarro on Wednesday. The Fillies will participate in the Iowa Western Tournament this coming weekend, taking on Iowa Western at 1 p.m. and New Mexico Military at 5 p.m. on Friday and Mineral Area at noon and Seward at 4 p.m. on Saturday.