By Audra Paine, TSB Staff
HUNTSVILLE, TX — Simple math tells the story.
“We went from 128 teams to 64, to 32, to 16, to 8, and then eventually to 4,” McKinney Boyd volleyball coach Kelly Quinn said Saturday. “To be in the top four teams in the state makes me thrilled. I am beyond proud of them.”
The Lady Broncos and Quinn celebrated on the court at Sam Houston State University on Saturday morning after winning the Class 5A, Region II final, 3-1, over their District 10-5A rival Plano. With the win, Boyd returns to the state where the Lady Broncos will face New Braunfels in the state semifinals on Friday, Nov. 16, in Garland.
Last year the Lady Broncos made their first-ever trip to the state tournament and lost in the championship match to Coppell.
They’ll get another shot, thanks to a rally Saturday. The first game started off a little rocky, with both teams making errors, but as the match continued both teams heated up and began to play with confidence. For only the second game of the playoffs, Boyd lost a set, 30-28, and were down 1-0 versus the Lady Wildcats, making them the first team to take a first set off the Lady Broncos this playoff season.
“I think it was just little mistakes,” said Quinn. “We missed five or six serves in the first set, and one was a crucial point we needed at the end to finish it.”
Even though the momentum was in the favor of Plano after the first set, the Lady Broncos came back fighting to win the next three sets 25-20, 26-24 and 25-21 in commanding style. Boyd finished the season with a 3-0 record against Plano, including two regular season wins in District 10-5A action.
The entire match was full of great rallies. One team would have a great kill, trying to swing the momentum in their favor, while the other team would swept in a steal the next point with a block or ace serve. It was the kind of match you would expect from two outstanding teams fighting for a chance to move onto state.
After the match, Quinn couldn’t say enough about the performance of her girls.
“It’s such an honor to make it this far at this level,” she said. “These girls have worked hard all season long and I’m thrilled. They played so well tonight. We’ve lost seven matches this season, which is a lot for a state bond team, but we’re peaking at the right time and I’m super excited about that. We have some kinks to work out but when we’re on right now.”
To no one’s surprise, the senior class of the Lady Broncos stood out on Saturday morning. Some of the girls have been on varsity all four years, and to make back-to-back trips to the state semifinals is pretty special.
Krista Bucovek had an outstanding game, bringing in 16 kills for her team on the match. Kelly Koop had 13 kills in the match while Megan Mollett made her presence known in offense and defense with 15 kills and 15 digs. On defense Kaley Seaber played great match, bringing in 25 digs for Boyd.
“I’m particularly excited for our seniors,” said Quinn. “Krista, Megan, Kaley, it’s their third time to play in the regional floor and they’ve won two of the three times, so that’s pretty impressive.”
Boyd had defeated The Woodlands on Friday night in the regional semifinals. If you missed TSB’s coverage of that match, please click here.
The Lady Broncos will face Region IV champion New Braunfels next week at the Curtis Cullwell Center in Garland. New Braunfels defeated Smithson Valley in the regional final 3-1. The winner of the match faces the winner of the Coppell-Clear Lake semifinal in the state championship match. The 5A semifinals are schedueld for 5 and 7 and the specific game times will be assigned soon.
The state championship match is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17.