LOVEJOY – McKinney Boyd fans looked right at home in the bright red bleachers of Lovejoy gymnasium and the packed student section had plenty to cheer about during and after their Lady Broncos’ victory over Sachse in a third round playoff game on Tuesday night.
Both sides of the blachers were packed full of students, including some who brought signs and others who donned costumes. For the first five minutes of game action, both the home and visitor side took turns cheering at the top of their lungs whenever their team scored a point. Before the start of the match, senior Drew Darling turned to head coach Kelly Quinn and told her that the crowd at Lovejoy was the loudest she’s ever heard in a gym.
“We need to get used to that because we’re four matches away from the state championship,” Quinn said.
The Lady Broncs’ defeated Sachse twice en route to a District 10-5A championship. In the third game of the series, Boyd came out on top again in a three-game sweep 25-16, 25-16, 25-14 that was much more competitive than the final score indicates.
“It was a good night. It’s hard to beat a team three times in a row but we came out ready to rock.”
Midway through game three, the McKinney Boyd student section began to chant “Just Give Up” to the Lady Mustangs, who were 10 points away from elimination. Although the Lady Mustangs were swept in three games, they did anything but quit and, in fact, kept up with McKinney Boyd point-for-point to start every match. It wasn’t until about point 12 that the Lady Broncos would start to pull away and once they went ahead there was very little Sachse could do to match their intensity.
“Sachse never gave up,” Quinn said. “I think we just kind of wore them down toward the end of every set. We broke ahead right around point 12 of every game.”
Standouts from Tuesday night’s game included senior Drew Darling, who finished with 11 kills and hit .357 and junior Megan Mollett, who totaled a whopping 17 kills and hit .394. Also, senior Ally Cobb added five kills and no errors.
As a team, the Lady Broncos recorded 40 kills and seven errors.
McKinney Boyd defeated Bryan last Friday in a dominating three-game sweep. For the first time in their playoff history, the Lady Broncos scheduled a Monday playoff game, which gave them only two days to prepare for Sachse. Since her team has already defeated the Lady Mustangs twice during the district season, Quinn felt her girls didn’t need three whole days to prepare for their third round game and instead scheduled a Monday matchup.
“All Plano schools were being used on Tuesday so we decided to play Monday,” she said. “It’s great because now we have an extra day to get film, scout and we have a whole 24 hours extra rest.”
With the win, the Lady Broncos now await the winner of College Park (#2) and Georgetown, which will be decided Tuesday night at A&M Consolidated. McKinney Boyd will play the winner (most likely College Park) at Sam Houston State in Huntsville Friday at 5:30 p.m.
The closer they get to the state championship, the more the Lady Broncos must continue to keep their eye on the prize while focusing on winning one game at a time and one match at a time.
The Lady Broncos were just as shocked as everyone else when they heard the news of Grapevine knocking off the No. 1 team in the state, Southlake Carroll. Also, The Woodlands, which eliminated McKinney Boyd from the state tournament last season, was bounced from the postseason in a four-game match versus Georgetown in the area round of the playoffs.
“It’s anybody’s game at this point,” Quinn said.
Game Notes: The McKinney Boyd home crowd at Lovejoy gymnasium was made even larger thanks to a group of YoungLife students who held a tailgate at Chipotle before the game and brought about 80 students to the match.
-Joe Arriola, TownSquareBuzz.com