Dublin's first playoff trip since 2006 was a short one, as Nocona ended the Lady Lions' postseason journey after just one round at Paradise High School Tuesday night.
Dublin won the first set, but then had no answer for Nocona's front-line play. Nocona won, 18-25, 25-13, 25-17, 25-11.
"In the first set we were attacking and it was our game," said Dublin head coach Patty Clark. "In the second set they were attacking and we were back on our heels."
Nocona won most of the battles at the net.
"They have some leapers," Clark said. "They have some girls up front who can really go up and put the ball down. They could hit it over our block or around our block and we just got rattled."
Clark says the Lady Lions, who reached the postseason by defeating Eastland in a District 6-2A third-place playoff match Saturday, also struggled with a pair of Nocona servers.
"They had a couple really good servers who got inside our heads on service-receive," she said.
The loss ends the career of Dublin seniors Kim Spivey, Suzanna Tolboom, Melissa Rangel and Callie Amicon.
"Kim was just oozing with excitement and aggressive play (Tuesday)," said Clark. "Melissa was the same way on the back row and Suzanna's serves were very aggressive and she was on with her sets. Callie has been a very positive force on the team, one of our workhorses."
Dublin has not won a playoff game since 2001, but the head coach feels her team did so this year.
"This is a tight-knit group that didn't want to see it end, but Saturday was like a playoff for these girls, so this wasn't really their first playoff round," Clark said. "It was their second playoff round."
Clark thinks the excitement of Saturday's district playoff victory and the hype leading up to bi-district match will prove to benefit her program in the long run.
"The excitement in the community of Dublin and around Dublin ISD was awesome," Clark said. "We were asked to drive by the elementary and intermediate school campuses for sendoffs. Even the kindergartners were out there and it was rocking.
"The junior high kids are still talking about their season and the success they had," she continued. "I feel very good about the direction our program is headed."