WHITEHOUSE -- The players on Texas High's bench collectively left their seats to join the starters on the court in celebration.

The Lady Tigers had just defeated Joshua, 25-23 in the fourth set Tuesday evening to advance to the 5A Region 2 volleyball semifinals. They won the first set, 25-15 and the third, 25-21. They lost the second, 25-20.

"I know they're really excited because this is the farthest they've gone under my coaching," coach Melissa Trotter-Hardy said. "They know how much work they've put in it. Four of those seniors were varsity players as freshmen. They experience they've gained is starting to pay."

Treyaunna Rush paced Texas High all evening. She finished with a team-high 26 kills, 14 assists and four blocks.

She also had a pair of aces in the first set, her first two points. She led the Lady Tiger attack that started things off, putting up seven straight points and forcing the Lady Owls to call timeout after they scored the set's first two. Her teammates set her up for powerful kills all evening as the Joshua defense was seemingly hapless to stop her.

"I think she was blocked one time and dug up maybe three times," Hardy said. "All the other times, she was unstoppable."

Kaitlyn Cross led the Tigers with nine blocks to go with 11 kills. Katelyn Jordan led with 18 assists and Vicki Williams and Olivia Lower tied for the lead in digs with 15.

The final set, as well as the match as a whole, was back and forth. Joshua rallied to tie it at 20 before Texas High scored four straight points out of the timeout, including two blocks from Cross. She, along with Rush, gave the Lady Tigers a solid defense all evening long.

"It's a wall over there," Hardy said. "To get around, you've really gotta cut. A lot of people actually set away from that block."

Texas High will face Wakeland in the regional semifinal game at 5 p.m. Friday at Richardson Berkner High School. The Lady Tigers will have a brief evening to enjoy their victory before they start preparing for the match.

"We made more unforced errors in this game than we did last game," Hardy said. "Just knocking out those errors and being more consistent of knowing who's at the line and who's serving and hitting. (We need to do better at) remembering who your players are and what they do for the team."

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