CORINTH — Following a win in its first District-5-4A victory over Fort Worth Brewer, Lake Dallas had showed signs of a young team that’s been maturing over the course of the season.
In the Lady Falcons’ second district match, things were more difficult.
Trophy Club Nelson never trailed and cruised to a 25-10, 25-13, 25-19 victory over Lake Dallas, handing the Lady Falcons their first District 5-4A loss this season.
The Lady Bobcats scored the first four points in both the first and second sets. By the time the third set rolled around, Nelson disposed of Lake Dallas’ best efforts of the match in the final set.
Lake Dallas senior outside hitter Keegan Gossett said the Lady Falcons came out scared in front of their vocal crowd Tuesday night.
“We lacked a lot of confidence,” Keegan said. “[The team] didn’t get loud or excited. It was a rough match.”
When the officials went to shake hands with Nelson head coach Libby Pacheco, the main umpire told Pacheco, “Best team I’ve seen all season.”
Elizabeth Pennington and Haley Tippett each had 10 kills to pace the Lady Bobcats (20-11, 2-0 district). Eva Koster added nine kills, and Krystal O’Conner had nine digs for the visitors.
Megan Dando led Lake Dallas with eight kills, while Chrisa Head had five kills and eight digs. Macey Bauman had 12 assists for the Lady Falcons (10-17, 1-1).
Lake Dallas head coach Heather Van Noy agreed with Gossett on her team’s timid mentality. By the time the Lady Falcons played more cohesively in the third set, the Lady Bobcats were already on the verge of finishing the match.
“There was no communication,” Van Noy said. “We weren’t talking. We came out scared and nervous.”
In Lake Dallas’ victory over Brewer, Van Noy said her team played fairly well. But in front of decent-sized home crowd and against a better team, Van Noy said her team didn’t adapt well to the sets of eyes seated throughout the gym.
“We were more nervous to play in front of our home fans,” Van Noy said. “We played great against Brewer, and we were away. That pressure of being at home maybe scared them a little bit.”
Nelson built commanding leads in the first set and opened up a 20-7 lead before Van Noy called her second and final timeout of the set.
After a block gave the Lady Bobcats the victory in the first set, they retreated to their sidelines, arms interlocked behind each other’s backs as they listened to their head coach. On the other sideline, the Lady Falcons had their hands on their hips, spaced out between one another, while listening to their head coach.
For a team that’s been without some of its key players throughout the year because of illness and injury, the young squad had a couple of strong rallies that seemed to foreshadow a comeback.
But Tuesday night turned out to be a night when the team struggled against a seasoned opponent.
“It’s like we seem to get a really good dig or a really good set, and then we’d hit it out or hit it into the net or two people would run into each other,” Van Noy said.
BEN BABY can be reached at 940-566-6869.His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .