FLOWER MOUND — Tuesday’s anticipated rematch between state-ranked Flower Mound and Plano West — two teams less than a month removed from going five sets against each other — turned into the latest showcase of the Lady Jaguars’ second-half tour de force through District 6-6A.
Since dropping a 3-2 verdict to those same Lady Wolves on Oct. 16, Flower Mound had won six consecutive matches, five via sweep. They padded that figure in decisive fashion on Tuesday, blitzing West for a 3-0 victory (25-17, 25-18, 25-21) to take control of the race for the 6-6A championship.
“We talked about having a fast start and focusing on us and not necessarily any adjustments we need to make,” said Jamie Siegel, Flower Mound head coach. “These girls did a great job of spreading out the offense and playing disciplined the whole time, and that’s the key.”
The Lady Jaguars made that known from the onset, with senior Caroline Dykes and junior Megan Farris spreading the wealth all over the Flower Mound side of the net. Four different Flower Mound hitters totaled at least three kills in the first set — in addition to the usual firepower from senior anchors Kaylee Cox and Angelique Cyr, the Lady Jaguars got junior Gabby Walker and sophomore Maddie Cox involved on the attack early as well. Walker and Maddie Cox totaled seven kills in the opening frame.
“They can focus on one or two players, but others are going to step up,” Siegel said. “That’s what’s happening and that’s a good thing for us.”
West head coach Justin Waters credited the Lady Jaguars’ right-side hitters, as the Lady Wolves had entered Tuesday’s match hoping to force Flower Mound to rely more on that side of the floor. But no matter where the attack came from, a West defense that made things tough on Flower Mound the first go-around had no recourse on Tuesday. In the first set alone, the Lady Jaguars totaled 18 kills to just eight for the Lady Wolves.
“We knew their play sets coming in and they ran them,” Waters said. “We wanted them to rely on their right sides and those players stepped up and played great. They executed and had us on our heels the whole time.”
Even after a tone-setting win in the opening stanza, the Lady Jaguars kept their foot on the gas. The reigning district champs totaled 36 kills over the last two sets, mixing in big-time swings by senior Hailey Hutchings and junior Bella Ortiz to further juice a surging offense.
The Lady Wolves got 10 kills from junior Jean Dixon, but finding holes in the Flower Mound defense was a challenge on Tuesday. Part of that came due to an aggressive service game from the Lady Jaguars, who kept West from routinely getting into system.
“They were in system the whole time. We weren’t serving very aggressive, so they were able to run the offense they wanted to,” Waters said. “When they did side out, we weren’t able to keep the serve and go on any runs. When they got the serve, we struggled in serve-receive, which allowed them to go on runs.”
Flower Mound’s heavy serves came at a cost, however, as the team committed 12 errors in that area. Overall, the Lady Jaguars totaled 26 errors in the three-set win — a number that matched West’s total kill count for the night.
“Our ace-to-error ratio wasn’t good, but for the most part we were aggressive and I’m OK with that,” Siegel said. “It gets to a point where you don’t care where it goes, just get it over and in.”
The win improved Flower Mound to 11-1 in district play, while West dipped to 11-2. With the two sides splitting their regular-season series, the Lady Jaguars can secure at least a share of the district title with a win Friday against Hebron. West, meanwhile, looks to bounce back at 6:30 p.m. Friday in its regular-season finale against Coppell.
“I think every game is a big one right now. You need to be firing off on all cylinders at this point and the kinks should be worked out by this point,” Siegel said. “That was the good thing about tonight — making sure that we’ve gotten those kinks out and are focused more on the details and discipline.”