Looking Ahead: Lady Broncos ready for new district challenge
Photo Courtesy of Cherie Phelan – After dominating District 10-5A the past two years, the McKinney Boyd volleyball team will face a greater challenge when it moves into a district with Plano, Plano East, Plano West, Allen and McKinney next season.
McKinney Boyd's volleyball team will enter the 2012-2013 season with stately goals, and whatever helps it achieve them will be looked on kindly.
Consider a tougher district among the count.
In two years in District 10-5A, the Lady Broncos dominated to the tune of a 27-1 combined record. In their final season there, they lost just one set on the way to an undefeated district title before advancing to the state finals, where they lost to Coppell, 3-1 (25-22, 25-19, 20-25, 25-19), to finish with a 44-7 record.
Being head and shoulders above the field did have its drawbacks though, as the lack of competition during district introduced a significant lull in between the top-notch tournaments the Lady Broncos took part in early in the year and in the playoffs.
“I think [the new district] is going to be great, to give the girls a chance to prepare for playoffs throughout district,” said Kelly Quinn, Boyd head coach. “The last two years, it's kind of been, stack our pre-season really strong and our district was relatively weak. Then we were kind of shell-shocked when it came to playoff time.”
That issue will be resolved when Boyd parts ways with the Garland ISD schools and joins Plano, Plano East, Plano West, Allen and McKinney in a new district.
“State champions come from competitive districts,” Quinn said. “The best competition will always benefit the team, so I'm excited about it. I know the girls are too.”
Coppell serves as a case in point of that mantra. The eventual state champions didn't even finish first in their district. Southlake Carroll took that honor, twice beating Coppell, which finished in second with a 10-3 record, during an undefeated run through 7-5A,
The Lady Broncos are hoping tougher opponents can help spin similar results for them, but while their new district will undoubtedly be stronger, they will remain the favorites. The six-team setup will increase the odds for any team to make the playoffs – only two won't – but that shouldn't be a consideration for them.
They were by far the most successful team from the field last season. Plano East was the only other to even make the playoffs, where they were bounced by Southlake Carroll, 3-0, in the first round.
The Lady Broncos spent their initial two seasons, 2008-2010, as a 5A program in a district with the Plano schools and Allen to mixed, but improved, results. In their first year, they went 2-8 in district and finished fifth to miss the playoffs. In their second year, they reversed that record for an 8-2 finish to earn second place before advancing to the second round of the playoffs, where they challenged Southlake Carroll in a 3-2 loss.
In its last year with standout Megan Mollett on the roster, Boyd will be looking for a return trip to the state finals next season – with a different end result.