For all the excitement surrounding Tuesday’s matchup against Denton, the Lake Dallas volleyball team ended the evening summarily dismissed by the 2018 District 8-5A champion Lady Broncos, 3-1.
The victory came by way of three straight sets for Denton after an initial, 25-21 set win for the Lady Falcons to open the match.
Head coach Kristinn Holbrooks said her program was following the Lady Falcons’ game plan of hitting around a big middle for the Lady Broncos in that first set, a commitment that faded down the stretch in the face of stout defense from the Lady Broncos and, in particular, junior Taylor Thomas.
“I think, in set one, we stuck to our game plan and we stuck to doing the things that we saw on film that we needed to do to come out successfully,” Holbrooks said. “I do think Denton came out a little flat, which helped us stick to that game plan. They made some adjustments, probably in the end of set two and starting set three, to some of the stuff we were doing. It threw us, I feel like, out of focus on what we needed to do.
“We had every opportunity to take it. We just did not finish.”
Junior Candace Collier and sophomore Caelyn Gunn led the Lake Dallas effort in the loss, racking up 17 kills and 13 kills, respectively. Collier also chipped in a pair of blocks.
Senior setter Ruthie Forson kept marching along in the assist department, totaling 44 in the match to go along with three kills and four blocks. Junior Lanie Schantz tallied nine kills and three blocks.
While the setback was a letdown for the Lady Falcons, Holbrooks said the atmosphere in the locker room postgame was indicative of the growth among her program this season.
“Earlier in the season, whenever we lost – and it didn’t matter if it was a ‘we played great’ loss or (a game where) we knew we should have done better and lost – I would walk into the locker room after, and it was dead silent,” she said. “It looked like the end of the world on everybody’s face. … I walked in after the Denton game, and it was probably Caelyn Gunn, I think – as soon as I walked in, she was like, ‘Coach, we’ve got them next time.’”
The loss dropped the Lady Falcons to 3-2 in league play entering Friday, when they closed out the first half of league play with Denton Ryan (results unavailable as of press time).
Though the school is just a game over .500, the record was good enough to leave Lake Dallas solely in third place entering Friday’s slate, as the Lady Falcons’ losses came to the perfect Lady Broncos and 4-1 Justin Northwest.
Following the matchup with the Lady Raiders, the second round of district play will kick off for Lake Dallas with a road matchup with the Lady Texans Tuesday and another road game against rival The Colony Friday, which Lake Dallas defeated in the first round of district play, 3-1.
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