By Mike Bruu, TSB Sports Editor
It all started with a slap in the face.
The turning point in McKinney Boyd’s volleyball season, the one that continues Friday with the program’s second straight trip to the 5A state final four, took place Sept. 21 in a home match against Plano West. Coming off a 3-0 loss to Coppell in a rematch of last year’s state championship match, the Lady Broncos headed into their first district match of the season in need of a win and a strong emotional lift.
Making it more difficult, they were missing senior Kaley Seaber, who was out for the match after being hit in the face earlier in the week. So, the shorthanded Lady Broncos were facing one of the best teams in a competitive District 10-5A on their home court — and on homecoming night.
This had the makings to be a great win and a boune-back performance.
About an hour and a half later, the Lady Wolves were walking off the court with a 3-0 win, leaving behind a stunned Lady Bronco squad looking for answers.
“I think that was a slap in the face for our team to realize every district game is going to be tough,” said Boyd head coach Kelly Quinn.
After a full weekend to sit on this painful loss, the Lady Broncos got back to work the following Monday and were more determined than ever to get in sync and play the way they knew they could.
“I think we came together as a team after that,” said Seaber. “Before then we hadn’t clicked yet.”
Since that painful Friday night in September, the Lady Broncos have reeled off 14 consecutive victories, including defeating those Lady Wolves twice over that span. The latest matchup between the two district rivals was in the regional quarterfinal, when Boyd swept Plano West 3-0.
While the Lady Broncos are just two victories away from winning a state championship, Quinn still believes her team can cut down on their mistakes. Maybe that is simply coach-speak and a way to keep players grounded, but that belief is likely a byproduct of the philosophy with this team. They do not want to lose focus and take an opponent lightly like they did back in September, and let another state championship opportunity slip through their fingers.
“When we got there last year it was really exciting,” said senior Megan Mollett. “But this year we need to get business taken care of.
“We want that ring.”
Boyd plays New Braunfels in a 5A state semifinal match this Friday night at Garland’s Culwell Center. The match begins at 5 p.m. The winner moves on to the state championship Saturday at 7.