Longview got a crucial win to open the second half of district action on Tuesday night.
It’s going to be that way the rest of the way for the Lady Lobos in a battle for a playoff spot.
Behind a big night from senior Laci Lewis, Longview took care of business in a 3-1 (25-23, 20-25, 25-19, 25-15) win over North Mesquite in District 11-6A action at Lobo Coliseum.
Longview’s win, paired with Rockwall-Heath’s sweep of Mesquite Horn, has the Lady Lobos and Lady Jaguars tied for fourth place at 3-4 in 11-6A with five matches left to play in the regular season.
“Every game is crucial for us — a lot of must-win games the rest of the way,” Longview head coach Chaka Jackson said. “In the first round, we beat North Mesquite in five games at their place and it came down to the wire.
“We took care of business tonight and finished.”
Jackson has seen the Lady Lobos (14-21) gain valuable experience through the first run through 11-6A, which is led by Heath, Rockwall and Tyler Lee in first through third place.
“We’ve grown a lot, experience-wise,” Jackson said. “We had a lot of girls that didn’t have varsity experience and now they know what it takes.
“The biggest thing is that we’re learning to work off one another. It’s more fluid. We had a lot to figure out early on and you can tell they’re more comfortable together now.”
On Tuesday, they fed off Lewis, who turned in a match-high 14 kills to go with 14 digs and two aces in an all-around night for the Lady Lobos.
“She stepped up with her senior leadership,” Jackson said. “She’s a three-year letterman and she played her role tonight and the team fed off of her.”
It was a team effort for the Lady Lobos, who got a least five kills from Miah Colbert, who followed with seven, as well as Mallory Reeves, Ladeja George and Peja Mathis, who followed with six apiece.
Sarah Frederick set it all up with 14 assists, followed by Elaija Hatley, who had seven assists. Frederick and Lewis also chipped in two aces.
Angell Evans, along with Lewis and Jailyn Rusk, solidified the back line with Evans following Lewis with 12 digs.
Lewis, Reeves and Colbert got going early as the Lady Lobos built a five-point lead in the opening game before unforced errors and two big kills from North Mesquite’s Abby McDaniel, who had a team-high eight kills, knotted things up at 15-all.
Longview didn’t surrender the lead the rest of the way but the Lady Stallions pulled to within a point four times. Reeves and Lewis had back-to-back kills to lift Longview to a 25-23 win.
The Lady Lobos rallied from an early hole in the second game, which was tied 16-16, before a 6-0 run from North Mesquite put the Lady Stallions ahead. Mikaylah West had two kills late to tie the match up, 1-1, with a 25-20 win.
Lewis had four kills and Makayla Washington orchestrated a 7-0 run at the line to built a 21-11 Longview lead in the third and held on for a 25-19 win.
The fourth set was tied 6-all before Longview, with a handful of contributors, finished strong on a 19-9 run from there, highlighted by a 5-0 run with Evans at the line, to close out the opening match of round two of 11-6A action.
Longview takes a break from district on Friday as they host Carthage at 4:30 p.m. North Mesquite, meanwhile, visits Tyler Lee.