The McKinney Boyd volleyball team gathered for a group picture to celebrate their straight-set victory over Wylie, which is the program’s first playoff win since 2015. 

LUCAS — Behind a dominant, all-around performance, the Boyd volleyball team beat Wylie in straight sets in their bi-district matchup Tuesday night at Lovejoy High School (25-21, 25-22, 25-15).

After a two-year hiatus from postseason play, the Lady Broncos won their first playoff game since beating Arlington Lamar in the regional semifinal round in 2015.

“I thought the girls did a great job of taking care of business and staying focused because it’s playoffs now and this is exactly the way I envisioned our first playoff game together going,” Castillo said. “We know that now it’s playoffs and everyone is going to be bringing their best game and we must come out and dig deep and fight every single point. This is great momentum, but we must take things one game at a time and get ready for our next opponent because they will be the new obstacle we must overcome to get to our ultimate goal.”

After taking over in the early stages of the match to take the opening set, 25-21, things got tougher for Boyd in the second set as Wylie took it to the Lady Broncos in spots. The second set featured five ties and four lead changes with the pivotal moment in the set and the match coming with Wylie up, 19-15. 

With Boyd on the ropes, sophomore Avery Calame and junior Emily Ludtka got back-to-back blocks on crucial points to swing the momentum the Lady Broncos’ way the rest of the match. Boyd rode the hot left hand of Calame the rest of the set as the talent sophomore got four of her set-high six kills down the stretch, including a beautiful smash down the line to close out the set.

Calame finished the night with a team-high 13 kills along with 11 digs to produce a double-double in her postseason debut.

“Knowing that this could be our last game inspired me to play lights-out tonight,” Calame said. “I had more exciting feelings than nervous ones inside me going into the match because the whole team is excited to prove how good we are and how far we can go. Once I settled in, things were fun for me tonight and now we must remain confident and keep getting better going forward.” 

The Lady Broncos simply kept their foot on the gas and took full advantage of a deflated Wylie squad which never regained its footing after blowing its four-point second set lead. Ludtka, who missed the first 29 games of the season due to injury, continued making plays in the final set with two more big blocks to finish with a game-high six rejections.

“It was a huge deal for us to play good in the playoff because we worked so hard to make this happen,” Ludtka said. “I’m very fortunate and excited to be happy and I’m glad I can contribute tonight. We’ve got to simply keep working and keep doing what we are doing if we want to keep winning playoff games.”  

For continued coverage of the local sports scene, follow Kendrick E. Johnson on Twitter @kendrickjohnso


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