Lady Falcons Season Ends
by Steve Gamel
The Lake Dallas volleyball team won 29 games in 2016, finished second in district play, and appeared to have a good amount of momentum at the end of the regular season. Unfortunately for the Lady Falcons, that regular-season success didn’t translate to the postseason.
Instead, what many fans hoped would be a deep playoff run for the Lady Falcons ended abruptly in the first round with a tough four-set loss to Frisco Reedy. It was Lake Dallas’ third playoff appearance in as many seasons, but it was the second year in a row that the program bowed out in the opening round.
It was a tough way to go out, but all signs point to another crack at the postseason next year.
Truthfully, Lake Dallas has earned the benefit of the doubt since head coach Heather Van Noy took over in 2011. What was a downtrodden program for years is now regarded as a favorite to make the playoffs almost every season. Lake Dallas has only missed the playoffs twice over the last six seasons. That success includes a trip to the Class 4A region quarterfinals in Van Noy’s first season at the helm, and a spot in the same round of the 5A playoffs in 2014.
There were high expectations coming into this past season, too. Despite losing a ton of star power from 2015, Lake Dallas had a solid nucleus back that included the likes of Jennifer and Lizzy Chapman, Mallory Klingele, and Kambrie Gossett.
Those girls alone gave Lake Dallas plenty to work with, but to offset the loss of so many key players to graduation, Van Noy said this year’s team would need to be more defensive minded in 2016 and that everyone would need to be flexible enough to step into different roles if need be.
The team started slow but caught fire in district, finishing second only to Prosper.
Unfortunately, the Lady Falcons’ district – District 14-5A – was lined up against a loaded District 13 for the first round of the playoffs that included eight Frisco schools. That meant Lake Dallas would have a tough opponent regardless.
That came in the form of Reedy, which despite playing its first varsity season, featured a roster with two Division I commits. After losing the first set 25-20, Lake Dallas rebounded with a 25-23 win in the second set. However, Reedy stole the third set 25-20 before running away with the final set, 25-16.
Despite the early playoff exit, all is not lost in Lake Dallas. The Lady Falcons hope to improve this off-season and come back next year better than ever.
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