When Guyer and Plano West played in the region quarterfinal last year, the match went five sets and was decided in thrilling fashion.
Fast forward to Tuesday night’s nondistrict rematch, and it was more of the same between the two powerhouse programs.
The Lady Wildcats and Lady Wolves traded blows all game, matching each other run for run. But in the fifth set, Plano West eventually got the upper hand, using a late surge to come away with a 25-23, 23-25, 25-21, 23-25, 15-12 win.
“I think when you have two good teams battling it out in 6A, the team that is more disciplined is going to win in the long run,” Guyer coach Leslie Jackson said. “I think both teams played really well. It’s about who is going to be the most disciplined and capitalize on opportunities.”
After fending off a late Plano West rally in the fourth set, Guyer sent the game to a decisive fifth frame on the back of a clutch play by Ava Houser and Kyndal Stowers.
Houser sprawled out to dig a shot, and Stowers promptly capped it with a kill to put the Lady Wildcats at set point. A Plano West service error on the next point sent the match to a fifth and final set.
In the decisive frame, the Lady Wolves built a 12-7 lead that Guyer was never able to recover from, despite pulling to within 14-12.
“Usually in fifth sets, whoever capitalizes on that run is the team who wins,” Jackson said. “I think we made a couple of discipline and mental errors that hurt us in the long run, which are fixable. Plano West is a good team. You have to give it to them.”
Stowers finished with a double-double for the Lady Wildcats in the loss, finishing with 20 kills and 14 digs. The Baylor commit also blocked two shots.
Gracey Campbell finished second on the team with 13 kills, while London Hunt buried 10 kills and hit an efficient .562.
Guyer fell to 10-7 overall with the loss. The Lady Wildcats will travel to Denton on Friday before opening District 5-6A play next Friday, Sept. 10, against McKinney.
And for Jackson, she said games like this against Plano West will only prepare the Lady Wildcats for what is expected to be a gauntlet of a district schedule.
“We’ve been playing good teams in [nondistrict],” Jackson said. “We did that on purpose so we are more prepared, because our district is so good. It’s good to play competition that’s this good to start with and compete with the best in the state.”