Marcus vs McKinney Boyd

McKinney Boyd junior Camryn Weldon makes a play on the ball during Tuesday’s bi-district match against Marcus.


FRISCO – The Marcus volleyball team never panicked when faced with a deficit Tuesday in the bi-district playoff round against McKinney Boyd.

Especially in the fourth set, when Marcus withstood Boyd‘s hardest charge for a thrilling 3-1 match victory (25-21, 25-22, 25-27, 25-23). 

Marcus will play Arlington Martin in the 6A area round on either Thursday or Friday.

The Lady Marauders had three chances at a sweep on Tuesday, leading Boyd 24-22 in the third set before the Lady Broncos stormed back to take a 25-24 lead. Marcus tied the set at 25, but Boyd scored the next two points to force a fourth set -- with momentum in spades, in front of a roaring Bronco student section.  

But with an attitude they’ve maintained all year, per head coach Danielle Barker, Marcus didn’t panic -- and pulled away at the end of the fourth set for the match victory.

“They’re a very emotional group of girls, but I try to always maintain a calm demeanor on the sideline,” Barker said. “And our outside hitter, Maggie Boyd, she’s really calm too, so I think that does a good job kind of exuding calmness throughout our team.

“We needed to stay calm tonight against a really good squad.”

The aforementioned Boyd, a senior, finished with 26 kills. Fellow senior Haidyn Sokoloski had 10 kills, and Paige Hildebrand and Lexi Godbey combined for 47 assists. Madison Dyer added two serve aces, including one in the pivotal fourth set. 

Leading 22-21 following a kill from Boyd, Dyer served a perfect ace over the net to give Marcus a key two-point lead. Lady Bronco head coach J.J. Castillo called a timeout, and her team  responded with two straight points – a Marcus fault and a kill from senior Avery Calame – to tie the set. But Marcus ended the set and the match with two straight kills from Boyd and Sokoloski to win, 25-23. 

“Marcus is a really good team and they played in a really tough district this year, so we knew they were going to come out and battle,” Castillo said. “We have such a great group of seniors and girls on this team, and this game is not indicative of the entire season. We just came up a little short tonight.”

Barker said a regular-season district game against Plano West showed her that her team could bounce back from adversity.

“We got killed in the first set against Plano West when we played them in district – I think the score was something like 25-6 in that first set,” Barker said. “But then we came back and won our next two sets against them. At that point I kind of knew that we could really do something this year. They didn’t let [that first set] bother them. They just went back out on the court and played our game.”

Neither team ever trailed by more than five points at any point in the match; Boyd took a 10-5 lead in the first set, only to see Marcus go on a 16-5 run to eventually win. Boyd also led 7-2 in the third and fourth sets before Marcus eventually made comebacks.

The Lady Broncos were stellar at the net, behind a foursome of sophomore Carson Eickenloff, seniors Hannah Billeter, Calame and junior Camryn Weldon. Freshman Ale Romo also saw significant playing time in her first-ever varsity postseason action. 

With Tuesday’s loss, Boyd’s 2021 campaign concluded at 24-7 overall with a second-place finish in District 5-6A.

For continued news and coverage on the local sports scene, follow Matt Welch on Twitter.

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