The Flower Mound volleyball team left no doubt in the first 2019 iteration of the Mound Showdown Tuesday, traveling to crosstown rival Marcus and handing the Lady Marauders their first District 6-6A setback in emphatic fashion.
The Lady Jaguars cruised to a 3-0 sweep of Marcus, taking consecutive sets by counts of 25-15, 25-14 and 25-20. In the victory, Flower Mound never allowed a Marcus run of more than four straight points.
With the win, the Texas Girls Coaches Association No. 2 Lady Jaguars remained perfect in league play, improving to 6-0 and dropping the Lady Marauders to 5-1. The straight-set performance also marked the defending state champions' 19th consecutive win since a 3-1 defeat against Plano West Aug. 20. During that stretch, Flower Mound has dropped just five sets, overall.
Flower Mound head coach Jamie Siegel credited her program's even keel for the lengthy winning streak.
"Literally, it's just never settling. We made a lot of unforced errors in that Plano West match, and it was learning from that (that's helped us)," she said. "Just learning how to clean it up, play cleaner, and just focusing on what we can control. ...
"What helps in every environment is treating every match the same. There are no 'big matches,' because every match is a big match."
On the opposite bench, the Lady Marauders saw a nine-game winning streak of their own, which also began following a loss to Plano West, snapped.
Marcus head coach Danielle Barker said it wasn't the rivalry atmosphere or an overwhelming effort from Flower Mound that was the genesis of the disappointing effort, but a false sense of comfort among her club in the middle of play in one of the state's premier districts.
"(The message) is to kind of use this at that grounding game and that kick-in-the-butt game. It's like, 'Hey, you can't just get comfortable,'" she said. "I don't think that we got big-headed, at all. I just think, after that Coppell game and after the Hebron game, we just got comfortable, which you can't do in this district and you can't do in the playoffs. ... We've just got to keep ourselves a little more focused and kind of just restart."
Juniors Kaylee Cox and Angelique Cyr were typically dominant on the night, with Cox collecting 16 kills, two aces and a pair of blocks and Cyr following her up with an 11-kill effort.
Each also produced a set-ender, with Cyr closing out an impressive first set that featured five of her 11 kills with a match-point finisher and Cox rattling off three consecutive kills to close out the second frame and keep the Lady Jaguars chugging toward their eventual sweep.
Senior Maci Godbey also had a strong evening, collecting seven kills and three blocks.
Sophomore Maggie Boyd was the clear pace-setter for Marcus in the loss, totaling nine kills, and ace and a block.
Barker said Boyd's performance was a continuation of a strong start to the 2019 campaign.
"She's just always a super-solid player. She's got an incredible volleyball IQ, and she's an incredible competitor with that mindset to just stay solid, no matter what," she said. "We really rely on her consistency and her calmness and her mental toughness."
Looking ahead, second-ranked Flower Mound's path to a 6-6A crown seems apparent, as the Lady Jaguars have fallen in just one set with one contest remaining in the first half of district action.
Still, Siegel said she won't let her group get ahead of itself in its quest to repeat as 6A champs.
"We don't talk about last year. Last year's in the past," she said. "We don't talk about rankings, we don't talk about anything. ... We're focused on the present and how we can get better every single day. That's all we can control, so that's where our focus is every single point."