ARLINGTON -- With a 3-1 victory over North Crowley on Tuesday night, Arlington (26-12, 7-1) moved into the driver's seat in District 3-5A.
When these volleyball teams met earlier in the season, it was the District 3-5A opener and Arlington swept the match 3-0. It was the only loss for North Crowley (14-12, 6-2) in the first round of district play.
Both teams entered the match at 6-1 in district, with the Colts riding a 15-match winning streak. Something had to give, and it was the Panthers' serve-receive that gave.
"Our serve-receive broke down and it seemed like everything sort of crumbled from there," North Crowley coach Stephanie Cunningham said.
After losing the first game 25-12, North Crowley rallied to win the second. Despite falling behind 10-6, the Panthers responded and an Alex Mitchell kill wrapped up a 25-21 game to even the match.
The Colts scored the first seven points of Game 3 en route to a 25-7 victory, and Arlington was never threatened, winning the fourth game 25-13 to clinch the match.
"I think heading into Game 3 we just started doubting ourselves," Cunningham said. "They jumped on us early and did a good job of serving us tough."
Now a game back in the 3-5A race, Cunningham said she hopes her team can learn from this experience.
"We won six matches in a row, so it's time to re-evaluate where we are," she said. "We'll just try to turn this around as a positive and learn from our mistakes."
Colts coach Kim Spencer knows there is no time to relax.
"We lost to Lamar in the first round of district games, and we've got Lamar on Friday," Spencer said. "I think since that loss we're a different team. We take practices differently; we work harder. It's hard when you have a lot of talent to get in and say, 'I still need to work hard and I can be better.' I think these girls believe we can be better than we are. As long as we work to stay consistent we'll get there."
Kaitlyn Granger led the Colts with 16 kills and three aces. Emma Smith led with 22 assists.
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