McKinney North defeated Wylie in five sets (22-25, 25-17, 23-25, 25-18, 15-9) Friday night in its district opener.
North’s defense was strong all night, with the Bulldogs totaling 63 digs on the night. Leading the way was Darby Maclea with 17 digs. Other key defenders on the night were Lindsey Denne (12), Alli Michalak (9), Courtney Kankel (7) and Kristi Carter with six digs.
Mary Valdez stepped in toward the end of the match and kept some crucial balls up, adding a vital four digs. The blocking game finally sparked in the fourth set and the Bulldogs were able to put together four blocks on the evening. Abby Middleton, Denne, Melissa Nichols, and Emily Greim all contributed to the total tonight.
Offense for McKinney North began to settle in and they were able to capitalize on transition from Nichols Friday. Nichols caught fire late in the third set and never looked back as she led the hitters with 15 kills and a season high hitting percentage of .375. Denne was able to connect with hitters 52 times tonight as she continued to lead in assists. Among those hitters she connected with were Kankel (12 kills), Greim (10 kills), Kali Viles (5 kills), and both Alli Mills and Maddie Agan had timely kills to help the Bulldogs pull out the win.
The McKinney North program will host Teacher Appreciation night on Tuesday when they take on district opponent Wylie High School at 6:30 p.m.
The Bulldogs were the lone MISD team in action Friday night.