TRINITY — Palestine High School head volleyball coach Janae Evans earned a very important achievement on Tuesday night.
Evans picked up career coaching victory No. 200 as the LadyCats downed Trinity 25-9, 25-10, 25-15 in a rare late-season non-district match.
“It's exciting,” said Evans, an Elkhart High School graduate. “I think about all the kids who have worked so hard through the years, and how it all paid off.”
Evans began coaching at the start of the decade for the Westwood Independent School District. She accepted the same position at Palestine before the start of the 2017 campaign.
When Evans coached at Westwood, she guided the Lady Panthers to the 2013 Conference 2A regional semifinals. Franklin defeated Westwood in three games at Lobo Coliseum in Longview.
That Westwood team featured outside hitter Mi'Kayla Benson, libero Lacey Wooden and right-side specialist Markeisha Durham. Benson was one of the best all-around players in recent Anderson County memory, with 386 kills, .325 attack percentage and 411 digs as a senior.
So far in her coaching career, Evans is averaging more than 22 wins per season, and this year's Palestine squad is 15-19 with two regular-season matches remaining.
Palestine ISD public information officer Larissa Loveless reported Evans will be honored during the Oct. 23 home match versus Mexia.
But before then, Palestine will play Rusk at 4:30 p.m. on Friday in a mighty significant District 19-4A home encounter.
Should the LadyCats beat the Lady Eagles, they will be assured a postseason berth.
Evans said three players had productive nights to help Palestine beat Trinity: Setter Katie Litynesky, outside hitter Ke'Ondra White and Ja'bria Simmons — who Evans moved to middle blocker.
Litynesky dished off a season-high 14 assists, and she had three ace serves. White peppered five kills and had four digs. Simmons posted four kills and paced the LadyCats in solo ace blocks with three.
Others also fared well on the statistics sheet: Shayla Arthur (five kills), Ka'Zem Wood (five kills), Raina Hanzik (four digs), Savanna Harris (four digs) and Gabby Moore (three ace serves).
Palestine also garnered the junior varsity match, 25-9, 25-22.
Evans became the second area volleyball coach to record her 200th victory this season.
Magen Humphreys of Cayuga coached the LadyCats to a sweep of Frankston in early September for the same benchmark milestone.