The McKinney Lionettes needed just 72 minutes to take down Plano West in three sets (25-16, 25-23. 25-22) on Friday night to continue their climb up the 10-5A standings.
McKinney, who is now 19-7 on the season and 2-1 in District 10-5A play, sits second behind Plano Senior and Allen, who were both undefeated going into action Friday night.
And if Friday did anything, head coach Jessica Camp said her team’s performance at MHS gave the Lionettes a great deal of confidence moving forward.
“That was long overdue and felt really good,” Camp said.
She said her squad played a complete game and was in control from start to finish, never once wavering from the stance that it would win the match.
She said her team’s defense at the net was solid. Alex Linstrom set the tone up front leading the squad with two blocks. McKinney compiled 52 digs on the night and were led by Ashley Robert’s 27.
The offense was hitting the ball “smart and hard,” Camp said, totaling four aces and 39 kills on the night. Claire Embry led the squad with two aces and also contributed nine kills. Erin Hoppe sparked the offense with 11 kills, and Desiree Parker chipped in with four.
McKinney controlled the first set from start to finish, and an 8-2 run midway through the set guided the Lionettes to a 25-16 victory.
The final two sets weren’t as easy, as West was able to match MHS point-for-point and keep the Lionettes aggressive at the net.
Trailing 8-5 early, MHS rallied throughout the match, before going ahead 20-16 and eventually winning the match 25-23.
The third match saw much of the same from the second, with West able to jump out to an early 10-7 lead.
But, like it did before, McKinney slowly climbed its way back into the match, eventually grabbing a 21-19 lead – a lead they would not surrender as they won the final set 25-23.
Camp said Friday’s victory was “very much a confidence builder,” and a win her girls needed after a poor performance against Plano East earlier in the week that still resulted in a three-set win.
And it possibly took a loss for the 2013 MHS volleyball team to realize its potential.
Since McKinney lost in five sets to the two-time defending state champion Coppell Cowgirls on Sep. 6, MHS is 4-1 and all four wins have come in three sets. The team’s only loss came to Plano Senior Sep. 27, and that too was in five sets.
Since that loss to Coppell, Camp said her squad now has the knowledge and experience to say they can play against team bigger than they.
And now the Lionettes are “doing it, and not just talking the talk,” Camp said.
McKinney will be back on the court Tuesday night when they make the short trip to Allen High School to take on the Eagles at 7 p.m.