Since losing to Plano West in straight sets almost a month ago, the Boyd volleyball team has played some of its best ball of the season and came into Tuesday’s district rematch as winners of four or its last five matches.
Despite the Lady Broncos’ hot streak, the Lady Wolves were able to use their length on defense to smoothly complement their consistent, offensive attack to take down Boyd in straight sets (25-20, 25-15, 29-27) for the second time this season.
With the win, West moves one step closer to a top-two playoff seed in 9-6A while Boyd remains in prime postseason position, but forced to go back to the drawing board for answers.
“This is a nice win for us, but it’s all about getting through district play and gaining momentum for the playoffs as that’s what our team has been focused on all season,” said Justin Waters, West head coach. “We are coming into every match expecting a sweep and I think we are good enough to do it with just about any team. We definitely want to get our name out there after a couple of losses here and there, but we are not too worried about things because we are having fun.”
West kept Boyd behind on the scoreboard all night long by scoring at least the first three points in every set, which forced the Lady Broncos to play catch-up the entire match. After cruising to a rather easy first-set victory, West got six consecutive service points off of junior Lindsey Zhang’s serve, which included two aces to run out of the gates to begin the second set.
The Lady Wolves never let off the gas and consistently capitalized off Boyd’s serve-and-receive mistakes to win the second set by double figures. Things picked up in the final set with 10 ties and nine lead changes before West got back-to-back kills from DePaul commit and senior captain Jill Pressly and junior Ashley Le to close out the match.
Pressly produced a near triple-double individual performance on her way to closing out her “Senior Night” performance in style.
“It was really nice to get all the seniors together and play a complete game in one of our final home games. We have all been together since our freshman season and it was nice to have one of our last good moments together,” Pressly said. “We all came together in the match, especially in the third set when we were down a couple of times, but we played really well in crunch situations because the pressure is never on one person. We are already in playoff mode and looking forward to playing all the hard teams, especially Prosper because we didn’t play our best against them last time.”
On the other side of the net, despite coming up short on the scoreboard, Boyd was able to get a game-high 20 digs from star senior libero Darian Markam along with quality performances from the sophomore duo of Avery Calame and Hannah Billeter.
Calame had a double-double performance with 12 digs and 13 kills while Billeter had eight kills and eight digs.
“We made adjustments too late in the sets and our passing was off, especially in the second set, and although we picked things up in the third set it was too late against a very good team like West,” said J.J. Castillo, Boyd head coach. “Going forward, we have to make sure we are executing in pressure situations and can’t miss serves when it’s 23 or 24 all. The errors we made tonight were mental and are all fixable as correctable things, which will help us get better going forward.”