ARGYLE — As non-district volleyball play wound down last week, Melissa (23-8) split a pair of challenging road outings. On Sept. 17, the Lady Cards earned a tough, four-set win at talented Class 3A Nocona, 25-22, 20-25, 28-26, 32-30.

Melissa’s Caroline Kasson knocked down a team-high 22 kills in the Lady Indians’ house while libero Chelsea George posted five service aces and 32 digs, both team-highs. Ally Marshall followed Kasson with eight kills, Kenzie Segleski slapped three service aces and KG Matthews led the team with 26 set-assists.

At perennially-strong Argyle (22-5) on Friday, the Lady Cards were bested in straight-sets, 25-12, 25-17, 25-13. The Lady Eagles got out to a 10-3 lead in Set 1 and eased on to the finish. In Set 2, Melissa got some traction and led for a time before Argyle pulled ahead for good at 10-9. Two Brooklee Waltrip kills, a Marshall block, Segleski’s ace to the back line and a big swat from Kasson helped keep the Lady Cards close, 20-16, but Argyle surged 5-1 from there.

“We didn’t have as many serve-receive errors in Set 2,” Melissa head coach Frank DePaolo said by phone on Saturday, “but I was disappointed in our fight. We just didn’t have a lot of fight in Set 1. … I felt like we came out and played timid. We did not play our game. We were kind of stuck in serve-receive and it led to us not being able to get in-system with our offense.”

DePaolo said the experience at Argyle gave his team “focus” at Saturday’s practice – and it was a reminder of what lies ahead for the Lady Cards in post-season play.

“We definitely know we have tough competition in district. But we’re also looking ahead toward trying to play the tougher teams once we get to the playoffs. … Not getting better during district play is not an option if we want to go far in the playoffs.”

Kasson led with eight kills versus the Lady Eagles and Brooklee Waltrip and Matthews were next with three apiece. Segleski posted two service aces and Marshall got up for two solo blocks. Ella Branson collected seven set assists and George dug up 12 balls, team-highs both.

The Lady Cards close out non-district play at Class 5A Denison on Tuesday then travel to Anna for the District 11-4A opener on Friday.

Melissa’s cumulative stat leaders through the Argyle match include: Kasson, 368 kills; Matthews, 366 assists; Marshall, 46 blocks; and George, 379 digs, 58 service aces.