Lady Tigers extend playoff streak to seven

Olivia McMath looks on as Jeslyn Martinez passes the ball back towards the net against Mabank.

The Wills Point Lady Tigers showed plenty of grit after a shaky start to district play in 2017, overcoming several early misteps to push their playoff streak to six seasons. The momentum generated from their late surge and subsequent playoff run has carried over into 2018, resulting in the team posting a 26-12 mark overall including a 6-2 start to district play with two contests left to play.

Wills Point started its week on the road Oct. 12, traveling to Athens to take on a Lady Hornets squad that had scuffled to an 0-7 start in district play. The Lady Tigers would come away with a victory, overcoming a sluggish start to score a four-set win.

Athens got the better of Wills Point in the opening set, outscoring the Lady Tigers 25-21 to take a 1-0 lead.

Improved play at both ends of the court began to turn the tide in Wills Point’s favor with the Lady Tigers pulling out the second set 25-21 and the third set 25-18 to put Athens on the rope. Wills Point would complete the four-set victory in another tightly contested battle, taking the final set 25-21.

The Lady Tiger victory, coupled with a loss by the Mabank Lady Panthers the same night, guaranteed Wills Point a top four finish in district play and a spot in this year’s playoffs.

Wills Point returned to the court Oct. 16, taking on the already eliminated Mabank team. The Lady Tigers rallied back from a slow start in the match to score their second consecutiv3 four-set win.

The Lady Panthers, playoff qualifiers in 2017, edged out Wills Point to take the first set 25-22. The Lady Tigers bounced back from there, evening the match by taking the second set 25-18 before closing out the Lady Panthers 25-20 in the third and 25-19 in the fourth.

With two district matches left to go for each team, standings show Van in first at 7-1, followed by Wills Point in second at 6-2, Brownsboro and Canton in third at 5-3, Mabank in fifth at 1-7 and Athens in sixth at 0-8.

The Lady Tigers are scheduled to wrap up the regular season with a match against Brownsboro Oct. 19 and Canton Oct. 23. Wills Point's meeting with the Bearettes will serve as senior night for the Lady Tigers. The meeting against the Eaglettes will serve as senior night for the Canton program.

Regardless of what happens during the last week of the season, Van, Brownsboro, Wills Point and Canton will represent District 14-4A in the playoffs. Playoff qualifiers from District 14-4A will take on teams from District 13-4A in the bi-district round of the playoffs. District 13-4A teams include (records entering play Oct. 16) 7-0 Farmersville, 5-2 Community, 5-2 Sunnyvale, 3-4 Crandall, 1-6 Caddo Mills and 0-7 Quinlan Ford.