GARLAND – If the McKinney Boyd varsity volleyball team hopes to return to the UIL state tournament in 2011 it will need big production from its bench players. For head coach Kelly Quinn, Tuesday night’s three-game sweep over bi-district opponent Dallas Skyline, showed just how much depth her squad has for this postseason run.
“We can sub anyone in and not really skip a beat,” Quinn said. “We’re just deep.”
Despite coming out ‘sloppy’ in set one, the Lady Broncos went on to win 25-13 and dominated sets two (25-9) and three (25-11) to complete the sweep Tuesday night at Naaman Forest High School. In the 2010 playoffs, Boyd also opened up the bi-district round with a three-game victory over Skyline (25-10, 25-17, 25-12).
“We came out a little bit sloppy,” Quinn admitted. “Aggressive but sloppy. In sets two and three, we cleaned it up a lot and our hitting efficiency went up.”
Defensively, the Lady Broncos allowed just 9 points in game two but overall Quinn felt her team’s best volleyball was played in the third and final set, where her team not only demonstrated improved blocking but also saw several bench players rack up valuable postseason minutes.
“Everyone got a chance to go in and get a little playoff experience. That’s always good for a team’s morale.”
Boyd got key performances from junior Megan Mollett, who finished with 12 kills, and senior Drew Darling, who totaled 8 kills. While Quinn was pleased with her team leaders, she wasy equally impressed with the trio of senior outside hitter Maddie Burleson, and juniors Caitlin Mills and Haley Onofrey.
“She’s so good off the bench,” Quinn said of Burleson, who had 2 kills in game three. “She just comes in as cool as a cucumber, works hard, knows her role, and does what she needs to do.”
Mills also finished the night with a pair of kills.
When Onofrey checked into the game, she made the most of her time on the floor by serving 10 points in a row.
“[Onofrey] played great,” Quinn said. “They all really impressed me tonight.”
The Lady Broncos played a solid game all around but there were quite a few service errors. Fortunately, those errors were balanced out by a greater number of service aces. Quinn said one of her girls’ goals is to have two aces for every error and they were able to do that versus the Lady Raiders.
Although McKinney Boyd has bounced Dallas Skyline from the bi-district round of the playoffs in back-to-back one-sided contests, Quinn had to tip her hat to the Lady Raiders and their coach Laurie Bruscato.
“[Skyline] has a great coach. She cares about them so much and I have a lot of respect for her,” Quinn said. “They have a lot of heart and they didn’t really give up ever.”
Elsewhere in Texas volleyball action, the Bryan Lady Vikings defeated Mesquite Horn (25-16, 25-19, 25-23) in Fairfield to advance to the area round where they will face No. 5 McKinney Boyd. With its win over Mesquite Horn, Bryan was able to leave Fairfield High School’s Johnson Activity Center with just the second playoff victory in program history.
In their short history, the Lady Broncos have not only won more than a couple of playoff games but they’ve already been to the state tournament in Class 5A and Tuesday night marked the first step back toward the top of the mountain. With game one out of the way, Quinn sees no reason why her team can’t take care of business and make the trip back to Austin for a chance at the title.
“We have an excellent shot,” she said.
-Joe Arriola, TownSquareBuzz.com