One and done for Plano

Wednesday, September 10, 2008
BY Kevin Hageland Staff Writer

PLANO -- Normally when a team has to call two timeouts in the span of three points that is a bad sign.

But Tuesday night that was the point when Arlington Lamar went from getting blown out against Plano Senior to cruising past the Lady Wildcats in four games, 13-25, 27-25, 25-21, 25-19.

This was the second time in the last five days Plano lost a home match to a team from Arlington. The Lady Wildcats lost to the Lady Colts on Friday after also winning the first game.

“It’s the same thing as Friday against Arlington,” said Jennifer Cron, Plano head coach. “It’s a matter of being consistent and tonight was not the best night for a lot of our girls.”

It didn’t look like that would be the case early on though as Plano’s blocking, combined with Lamar’s pension for double contact, gave the Lady Wildcats a 16-10 lead in Game 1. Plano got to that advantage after a kill by senior Paige Webb was deflected into the net judge.

Another kill, this time from sophomore Taylor Story, combined with an ace by junior Michelle Rogers put the Lady Wildcats in front, 19-11, en route to what would be a 25-13 victory in Game 1.

The Lady Vikings got a fiery speech from their assistant coach after the opening set and that appeared to do the trick, at least early on, as Lamar won the first two points in Game 2. Plano won the next two though to tie the second game. Ties would be seen again at 4, 6, 8 and 12 before the Lady Wildcats made some separation by going ahead 15-12.

A heads up dig from Plano junior Caiti Wenger kept the team’s advantage at three points, and forced Lamar to use a timeout. The Lady Wildcats won the next two points as well to take a commanding 20-15 advantage as the Lady Vikings stopped the match once more.

That would be the end of the celebrating for Plano as Lamar went on a 9-2 run from there to go up, 24-22. The Lady Wildcats fought off those two set points and another one at 25-24, but a Lamar tip gave the Lady Vikings a 27-25 victory and evened the match at one game apiece.

Lamar used that momentum and came out swinging in Game 3 as the Lady Vikings went on runs of 6-2 and 5-2 on their way to amassing a 24-18 lead. Just as had been the case in Game 2 though, Plano began staving off the match points as the Lady Wildcats won the next three. An ace by senior Carly Hoeler brought Plano to within 24-21, but the team would get no closer as Lamar closed out another set victory with a tip.

“I suppose it’s better to have these struggles now than in district,” Cron said.

Plano stumbled once more to start Game 4 as the Lady Wildcats appeared to play their best only after falling into a sizable hole. The Wildcats trailed in what would be the final game, 18-13, before reeling off three straight points to force the first Lady Vikings timeout since the three-point sequence of Game 2.

An ace by Plano junior Kenzie Thompson made the score 18-16, but just like in Game 3, the Lady Wildcats got closer.

Plano reverted to looking somewhat sloppy after the break in play as Lamar won seven of the next 10 points. The Lady Vikings ended the match with a kill that made it 25-19 in Game 4.

The Lady Wildcats will look to get back on the winning track Friday when they are the visitors for the first time in four matches. Plano will face Lewisville at 6:30 p.m. Due to the shrinking of District 8-5A from eight to six teams during reclassification, the Lady Wildcats still have more than two weeks until district play begins.

“This has been hard because it feels like the preseason just keeps going,” Cron said. “But we still have adjustments we need to make and we’ll have to do better.”

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