THE WOODLANDS — The Woodlands was taken to the limit by a District 13-6A opponent on the road for the second straight Tuesday.
This time, it was College Park looking to play spoiler.
Down 2-1 early, The Woodlands won the final two sets for a 22-25, 25-17, 25-27, 25-18, 15-11 victory to remain unbeaten and atop the district standings.
The Woodlands faced an identical situation one week ago at Grand Oaks — loud gym, lots of energy and a deficit to climb out of after three sets played. Just like against the Grizzlies, the Lady Highlanders persevered again.
“It’s so tiring to keep going through these games,” The Woodlands coach Terri Wade said. “Just as long as they can keep in their heads that we can do it, we’ll keep doing it. When they come up with a win, it’s a mental and physical victory.”
Tuesday marked The Woodlands’ 11th straight win over the Lady Cavaliers dating back to 2015. It was the most competitive match in a decade for the two programs, which last played to five sets in 2010.
College Park (5-10, 2-3), which entered the night in fourth place, has played in nothing but sweeps in district play, wins and losses, until Tuesday night. Although it was not ideal to drop a district match, College Park coach Candice Gibson was pleased with her team’s performance. The Lady Cavaliers went 2-1 last week with wins over Conroe and Willis and had suffered a loss against Oak Ridge coming in.
“I was so proud of the girls,” Gibson said. “I thought tonight that it was truly a full-team effort. I loved the fight, and I loved the confidence that the girls showed. Every night is so important when you only have six teams. For us to come out and play as hard as we did, there’s not much more we could ask for.”
The fifth set was ultra competitive with eight ties and four lead changes.
The Woodlands (14-3, 5-0) went on a 4-0 run as Majorie Johnson delivered a kill, Claire Arend added two straight and Molly Tuozzo put down an ace to go up 13-10.
After a timeout by College Park, The Woodlands took two of the next three points, including the winner by Arend at the net.
“I wouldn’t say that we underestimated them,” Wade said of College Park. “All props to them for how hard they played and the placement they had on the ball. It definitely took us a while to adjust, and even when we did adjust, they would change it up again. It really just came down to that we’ve become fighters down to the last point.”
College Park seized momentum early with a first-set win. Lexi Rozanovich put down the winning kill.
The second set was back-and-forth early. Tied at 10, The Woodlands went on a 6-0 run and never trailed the rest of the set.
The third set was a slugfest with 11 ties and five lead changes. With the