DRC_Guyer Wildcats

COPPELL — Guyer is back in the third round for the first time since 2014.

A week after beating 2017 Class 6A champion Hebron to win their first playoff match in four years, the Lady Wildcats rolled to a 25-18, 25-20, 25-12 sweep of South Grand Prairie on Friday at Coppell High School.

The win sets up a date with Mansfield next week in the region quarterfinals at a time and place to be determined.

“It’s a mental game at this point,” Guyer coach Heather Van Noy said. “Going forward, we are pretty even physically with the teams that have made it this far. It will be a battle of wits; it will come down to who’s going to play harder and make adjustments faster, and who’s going to not get scared and go after it.”

Polishing off South Grand Prairie in three sets is an emphatic statement, but it didn’t come easy. Guyer (33-8) found itself in a slugfest in each of the first two sets as South Grand Prairie used its athleticism to frustrate the Lady Wildcats, particularly by keeping numerous surefire kills from hitting the floor.

While Van Noy admitted her team was struggling to adjust to South Grand Prairie’s speed, the Lady Wildcats always found a way to stay one step ahead. They led the first set 21-18 before closing on a 4-0 run. In the second set, South Grand Prairie rallied to tie at 19 only to watch Guyer rattle off six of the next seven points to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the match.

The third set was by far Guyer’s best, as it jumped out to a 4-0 lead and later used an 11-1 run to take a 12-point lead.

Brooke Slusser led with 13 kills and 19 digs while Maggie Walsh chipped in 11 kills. Bailey Samide had 14 assists. As a team, the Lady Wildcats posted 14 blocks and had five service aces.

“South Grand Prairie is very unconventional, and we told the girls [it would be a good match],” Van Noy said. “They play a faster ball and they read so well, so we had to change our game plan. We got frustrated in the first two sets.

“All of our girls are so dynamic that they try to take the burden off each other when they can. Brooke is definitely our vocal leader and gets them fired up and refocused.”

STEVE GAMEL can be reached at 469-360-3611 and via Twitter at @NewspaperSteve.

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