LUCAS – Turn off the lights. Lock the door. Cut the Music. The dance is over.
District 10-5A Champion Allen smashed McKinney High’s proverbial glass slipper Monday night, ending the Lionettes’ Cinderella postseason run in the UIL Volleyball Region II-IV Quarterfinal in four sets (23-25, 16-25, 25-19, 20-25) at Lovejoy High School.
“I couldn’t be more proud of those kids,” MHS head coach Jessica Camp said.
Allen will move on to play either The Woodlands or Kingwood in the Regional II-IV Semifinals later this week.
The Lionettes entered the postseason party through the back door, defeating Plano West in three sets to earn the fourth and final playoff spot in 10-5A in a play-in match following a four-set loss to McKinney Boyd in the season finale.
McKinney would upset District 9-5A Champion Richardson Pearce in five sets in the Bi-District Round, and then oust Rockwall in four sets in the Area Round.
The Lionettes finished with a district record of 5-5 and an overall record 24-11 in the regular season, a far cry from going winless in 10-5A play last season. The turnaround helped lead MHS to its first playoff run in 17 years, which Camp said “isn’t too shabby.”
“I’m proud of them, I couldn’t think of a better team to do it with. They were awesome,” she said.
The Lionettes came out Monday night playing with Allen point-for-point during the majority of the first set. Late errors, however, would be the demise of MHS, as McKinney committed four errors in the last five points.
McKinney committed four errors in the first 20 points of the set. The Lionettes couldn’t recover in time, as Allen smashed the ball all over the court in the second set, giving itself and early 9-3 lead.
“Towards the end [of the first set] we started playing more scared, like we don’t want to mess up, and that makes us mess up; clearly we didn’t come out in the second game,” Camp said.
The Lionettes wouldn’t be sent home quietly, and would win the third set, led offensively by seniors Erin Hoppe and Desire Parker, who came up with crucial kills and timely blocks. Claire Embry led MHS with 13 kills, while Hoppe chipped in 8 and Alex Lindstrom smashed 10 kills. Ashley Robert led the way with 18 digs, while Megan Drummond snared 11.
“They fight. They fight to the end and that’s how we got this far,” Camp said.
Camp said of the seniors, “they wanted it so bad,” adding all of her seniors – Hoppe, Parker and Drummond – played solid, brought MHS to a place it hasn’t been in almost two decades.
“This is something new to us and they led team to it,” Camp said.