Avoid the Boyd: No injuries this time as Lady Broncos dispatch of Lady Wolves
The first time Plano West (4-2 in district) and McKinney Boyd (5-1) took to the volleyball court this season, the Lady Broncos suffered injuries both in warm-ups and during a match in which they were swept by the Lady Wolves.
Tuesday night's rematch went a little differently.
Boyd was at full strength and punished the West block over the final two sets en route to its fifth straight 10-5A victory (25-21, 21-25, 25-13, 25-16).
"When you win the first match obviously you want to, and feel like you can, win that second one," said Brittany Bridge, West head coach. "We just didn't get it done tonight; it looked a lot like the Plano (Senior) match where our block broke down in the third and fourth set."
Boyd was there to take advantage.
After splitting the first two sets, the Lady Broncos established a 6-0 lead in Game 3. That wasn't necessarily a good thing though as the winner of Game 1 (Boyd) and Game 2 (West) came back from deficits of at least six points. That wouldn't happen in Game 3 as Boyd extended its advantage throughout thanks in large part to short-set kills by senior Krista Bukovec, who had 17 terminations.
"We wanted to establish the middle," said Kelly Quinn, Boyd head coach. "Sometimes its works, sometimes it doesn't, but tonight it really did. We kept going to Krista and I don't think [West] really adjusted to it."
Boyd methodically built its lead throughout.
A kill by Bukovec, back-to-back put downs by senior Megan Mollett and a block by senior Emma Meyer helped advance the Boyd advantage to 14-9, 16-10, 18-11 and back-to-back short-set kills from Bukovec finished the game, 25-13.
Bukovec continued her attack in Game 4, only this time she was further aided by Mollett and senior Kelly Koop. The former had 15 kills and 20 digs while the latter, who propelled the Lady Broncos' comeback in Game 1, registered 12 terminations and 16 digs. Boyd's lead got as high as 23-11. The Lady Wolves surged back with five straight points, but were done in by a hitting error that set the Game 4 final at 25-16 and ended the match.
"[Mollett and Koop] played great tonight," Quinn said. "They were strong defensively too, which we really focused on tonight. Sometimes you get too caught up in the offensive aspect of the game, but it is good defense that gets you back in system."
Mollett and Koop's dig totals trailed only senior teammate Kaley Seaber, who had 26.
"The big thing for us is we just couldn't finish the ball," Bridge said. "I'm not sure if it's because Boyd's defense is just that good, but I felt like it was the fact we couldn't terminate."
That wasn't the case early though.
West threw Boyd out of sorts to start Game 1 with seniors Katie Stebbins and Abigail Curry, who had 21 assists, scoring the first two points off kills. The Lady Wolves soon established a 7-1 advantage. That wouldn't last past the midway point as Koop followed a kill with an ace to give Boyd a 14-12 lead as part of a 14-5 run. A steady dose of Koop, mixed in with a couple blocks by junior Lauren Petrisin, made it 24-21 and Mollett put down a kill to wrap up the first frame.
Boyd parlayed that momentum into an 11-5 lead in Game 2 following a Bukovec kill.
But as was the case in Game 1, the team with the early advantage wouldn't win the game.
West stormed back with attacks from Stebbins, junior Morgan MacGilvary and senior Brooke Coleman. The latter two players were particularly effective with Coleman registering another triple-double (21 assists, 12 digs, 10 kills) while MacGilvary led all hitters with 20 terminations.
"[MacGilvary] played great," Quinn said. "She was scoring a lot against us and we had to try and pick up on some tendencies so we could adjust."
The adjustments couldn't be made in Game 2 as MacGilvary gave West its first multi-point lead at 20-18 following an ace and then finished the set, 25-21, with a kill. As is the case in most West matches, the defense of senior Shane Peters (who had 38 digs) frequently kept the ball in play for the Lady Wolves.
But digs wouldn't equate kills in the final two sets as West dropped to third place and Boyd remained tied for first in the district standings with Plano.
Those two will face off at 6 p.m. Friday from Boyd.
"That's it right there," Quinn said. "If we can win that match and then take care of the teams we should take care of, we'll win the district title."
West hosts Allen at the same time Friday, but will no doubt also be rooting for Plano as a Lady Wildcats' victory would allow the Lady Wolves a chance to once again force a three-way tie atop 10-5A.
"Obviously if that happens we'll be excited and prepared for Plano," Bridge said, "but before that we have some other tough matches we have to be ready for."