The Lake Dallas volleyball team had a bit of a homecoming party Tuesday night, celebrating head coach Kristinn Holbrooks' 100th varsity win, which came over Denton Ryan last weekend, prior to the Lady Falcons hosting Frisco Independence and taking their home floor for the first time since Aug. 6.
The good vibes were short-lived.
The Lady Falcons, sloppy throughout Tuesday's non-district contest, fell to the Lady Knights in straight sets, dropping games by counts of 25-13, 25-22 and 25-18.
"I think we kind of forgot how to play volleyball tonight," Holbrooks said. "This was probably the biggest crowd they've had in quite some time, so I don't know if it was nerves that got us. ... I don't know if it was just the atmosphere of being back here and the expectations, because we've been winning. ... I'm not really sure what it was."
While Lake Dallas will have four more non-district bouts to correct course, Independence will enjoy no further warmup for the Lady Knights' oversized District 9-5A schedule, which begins Friday.
With that in mind, Independence head coach Shawn Crossley said the final non-conference tuneup went perfectly for her squad.
"For us, we've been working on mentality and confidence this entire season, so it's a really big win for us to be able to make sure we're maintaining our level of play with the mentality and the physicality and being able to finish," she said. "It feels good."
Independence was led by a three-headed attack, getting production from senior Secily Orr, junior Emma Simpson and sophomore Hayden Hicks in the sweep.
Each dominated a set, with Simpson picking up six kills (including three consecutive points to close out the frame) in set No. 1, Hicks collecting five kills, two blocks and an ace in the second game, and Orr tallying six kills of her own in the decisive third set.
"One thing that we really pride ourselves on is that we have utility hitters across the board," Crossley said. "It doesn't matter when we have one in one spot or one in the other. All of them can step up and do the job from anywhere on the court."
For Lake Dallas, errors were the story of the evening.
The Lady Falcons committed at least six miscues in each set and totaling nine between service and attack errors in the first set alone.
Still, sophomore Caelyn Gunn was again a bright spot for the home side, as the outside hitter recorded 17 kills in the losing effort and nearly willed her program to a set win in the second frame, when she rattled off five of the team's final 10 points in the frame with the narrowest margin of defeat of the night.
"With her, I feel like it's a mindset that's been just ingrained in her. Her dad was a former NFL player, so she has the mental discipline at home that she hears from him all the time. She plays club at a high-level club, so she does it year-round," Holbrooks said. "To me, I think that's kind of what's setting her apart. She doesn't buckle or cave or get freaked out."
Elsewhere, juniors Candace Collier and Macie Banks had six and five kills, respectively, and senior setter Ruthie Forson delivered 29 assists.
Lake Dallas will get another shot in front of its home crowd at 6:30 p.m. Friday, when the Lady Falcons will host Lewisville and attempt to flush away Tuesday's letdown.
"Friday, we're back at home, so we've got some things to figure out tomorrow at practice," Holbrooks said. "We'll see if they can bounce back Friday."