McKinney should be proud of its two volleyball teams, McKinney High and McKinney Boyd, that finished the first round of district competition Friday by inviting middle schoolers and classmates to join the fight against breast cancer.
It was not just a night filled with navy and yellow versus navy and red, but a night where pink trumped the rivalry. In addition to the great cause, both teams fought vigorously for a win Friday night. The fans that filled the stands on both sides of the bleachers watched the Lady Broncos take a 3-1 victory over the Lionettes. Boyd won the first two sets 25-14 and 25-18, lost the third set 23-25, but then won the fourth and final set 25-17.
Boyd improved to 4-1in District 10-5A and tied for first place, while MHS dropped to 0-5 through the first half of play.
The first and second sets proved to be interesting, when most of the rallies were fairly long and quite aggressive. Unfortunately for the Lionettes, the Lady Broncos continued to find holes in the MHS defense and kept their error count down, causing them to have to step up and play like a team. MHS head coach Jessica Camp spoke after the game about Boyd's overall talent and what kind of effort she saw from her girls.
“Boyd’s a good team and they’re hard to beat, but we stayed together as a team," said Camp. "We didn’t get down, we just kept fighting together. I was very proud of how my girls played tonight. They played better then they have in a while and I think if we keep that up, we’ll do something special along the way.”
Kelly Quinn, the head coach of McKinney Boyd, echoed those thoughts following her team's victory.
“McKinney High is a great team. They’re young and they’re going to be very solid in the next few years," said Quinn.
In the third set, the Lionettes did fight hard against the Lady Broncos, figuring out where they were getting caught on tips and dumps. MHS even got in the rhythm of the Lady Bronco offense and ended up a total of four blocks on the set as a team.
Also in defense against the Boyd on the entire evening, Karmen Jackson had 20 digs, which led the game for the Lionettes. Erin Hoppe followed close behind with 19 digs, as did Claire Embry with 12. On the offense, the Lionettes put up 39 kills for the match. Embry led the way with 13 kills, followed by Hoppe with 12.
When asked if there was a particular girl that wowed her Friday night, Camp said there was too much of a team effort to just choose one girl.
“Everyone tonight. Everyone stepped up their game and I hope they keep it up," Camp said. "I think we can turn things around if we keep playing like that.”
The Lady Broncos pushed the Lionettes defensively and attacked almost everytime the ball went to their side of the net. Megan Mollet led the most attacks with 19 kills, while Kelly Koop swept the net with 13. Tori Turck had 19 of the total 36 assists for the night as well and was one of the girls Quinn was impressed with this evening.
“Kelly Koop, she played outstanding," said Quinn. "Tori Turck played great tonight, both our middles. They really allowed our offense to open up and gave us the option to spread out our offense.”
Even with a spread out offense that was effective all night long, Quinn says there are always areas of improvement.
“We’ve got to realize to push through the entire game," she said. "We need to learn to perservere through the whole match. The first few games we were winning and everyone was happy and cheering, then we let go of some energy that we needed. We’re still growing as a team and that’s something that’s good because we can change and adapt.”
Boyd will travel to Plano West next Tuesday in a rematch of the first district game of the season and the only district loss the Lady Broncos have this season. MHS returns home to battle Plano on Tuesday night. Both matches start at 6:30 p.m.
Note: McKinney North volleyball was also in action Friday night. For a report on its match, please see the Sports section or click here.