As an assistant volleyball coach at Guyer for six years, Heather Van Noy helped the Lady Wildcats win quite a few matches, including a run of two straight district championships and a spot in the Class 4A Region I state semifinals in 2007.
Now in her second season as the head coach at Lake Dallas, Van Noy returned to Guyer on Tuesday night for the first time since leaving and her Lady Falcons made things very interesting.
But it was the Lady Wildcats who persevered in a key District 5-4A match, defeating Lake Dallas 25-10, 25-18, 25-27, 25-22.
The victory for Guyer (17-12, 4-2 district) also marked the second time its second-year coach Addie Mack has won over Van Noy, one of her best friends. The two are former teammates at TWU, and when Van Noy was an assistant at Guyer, Mack was an assistant at Denton Ryan.
“She’s a great friend, but as coaches we both know we need to go for it once the match starts,” said Mack, whose team defeated Lake Dallas last season in a nondistrict tournament. “It’s definitely going to be a friendly rivalry for us and our teams.”
Van Noy said she was emotional when she walked into the gym “and being on the other bench. So many of these girls know each other so well since the schools are so close. I wanted to win, but it was a good match.”
Guyer took care of business quickly in the first set before Lake Dallas (11-20, 2-4) started to execute. The Lady Falcons jumped to a 5-0 lead in the second set before Guyer rallied and held on for the win.
But the Lady Falcons continued to play tough. Guyer had match point at 24-22 in the third game when Lake Dallas’ Keegan Gossett tipped the ball over for a point, then had a kill to tie the game. An Allie Wagoner serve went off the top of the net and Guyer could not return to give Lake Dallas a one-point lead. Guyer tied the game at 25 on Sylvia Nwiba’s kill, but Guyer committed an error on the next point and could not return Macey Bauman’s serve as Lake Dallas won to force a fourth game.
Lake Dallas kept the momentum, building an 11-3 lead. After a Guyer timeout, the Wildcats started chipping away and finally tied the game at 21 when a Lake Dallas return was wide. Guyer was wide on a return before scoring two straight points on a service error by Lake Dallas and a return by the Lady Falcons that was long. Guyer’s front line blocked a Lake Dallas shot and closed out the match with its fourth straight point when Lake Dallas pushed a return into the net.
“Lake Dallas was very resilient,” Mack said. “Our girls started to get away from our game plan. We stopped communicating. We wanted to really execute our game plan this week and we got away from that. But this was a crucial win for us.”
Mikayla Yates led Guyer with 12 kills, while Nwiba added 11. Jasmine Montemayor finished with nine kills, Sydney Reyes had eight, and Emily Gorr finished with 22 digs.
Van Noy, while disappointed with the loss, was very pleased with her team’s performance.
“As a group we could have caved, but we fought so hard and I was very proud to see that,” she said. “We’re getting better every day. There was a lot of energy, and we battled back. We’re still in a good spot. This is going to be a long district race and we’re right there.”
Megan Dando led Lake Dallas with 15 kills, 12 digs and three blocks. Gossett had 10 kills and 17 digs, while Amanda Edwards had 25 digs.