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Volleyball: End of rally – Boyd comeback falls just short

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, November 18, 2017
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Reaching the End

REACHING THE END – Boyd ISD Superintendent Ted West puts a bronze medal around the neck of Boyd libero Larrin Maxwell and her teammates following the Lady Yellowjackets’ five-set loss to Goliad in the 3A semifinal in Garland Thursday. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

The Boyd Lady Yellowjackets’ season appeared on the brink twice Thursday, facing the defending 3A champions.

Boyd dropped the first two sets and then fell down 18-12 in the fourth. But both times, the Lady Yellowjackets picked themselves up off the canvas with stellar defense from Larrin Maxwell and timely attacks by juniors Macee Valtr and Jordyn Todd to ultimately force a fifth-set tiebreaker.

The Lady Yellowjackets just couldn’t make a final rally, with Goliad scoring five of the last six points to take the tiebreaker and the Class 3A semifinal at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, 3-2 (25-17, 25-11, 22-25, 23-25, 15-11).

“That’s been the theme all year. That’s how these girls are – we don’t quit. That’s how we got here and we know that,” said Boyd coach Dusty Crafton.

“We had to overcome some nerves. It was our first time being here and a lot of new things. Those first two sets, especially the first one, were uncharacteristic of the way we play. We pulled it together and were able to settle into our environment. But the fact we never quit doesn’t surprise me at all.”

Boyd’s season ends at 38-8 with the program’s first trip to the state tournament.

Moment of Reflection

MOMENT OF REFLECTION – Boyd’s Jordyn Todd leads teammates off the floor following the end of the fifth set Thursday. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

“I knew from Aug. 1 this was going to be an amazing season. We just had to play our game the whole time. That’s all I could ask for,” said Boyd senior setter Macey McCune, who dished out 22 assists in her final match.

Goliad (33-9) will get the opportunity to defend its state title Saturday at 11 a.m. after staving off Boyd’s comeback attempt with a big fifth set from Amaya Brown, who buried six of her 21 kills, in the tiebreaker.

“I told them it’s go time – all or nothing,” said Goliad coach Jess Odem about the fifth set. “We’ve been to the state tournament these past three years and we have not lost in the state semifinal game. We actually didn’t know what it felt like to be that close. The returners from last year just had it in their mind that they were going to find a way to win a game.”

The strong serving of Goliad and libero Kaci Hotz staggered Boyd early and put it in a 2-0 hole. Hotz had six of her team’s seven aces, including three in the second set.

“I was just looking where my coach was telling me to serve. Whatever spot it was, I was serving there as aggressive as I could and got them out of their game and took them out of their offense,” Hotz said.

Working Together

WORKING TOGETHER – Boyd seniors Shaylee Martin (8) and Jacey Cate (13) challenge the shot of Goliad’s Amaya Brown during Thursday’s 3A semifinal. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Boyd was able to adjust its service receive over the final three sets and did not allow another Goliad ace.

“Typically we are a good serve-receiving team. I really chalk up the second game, where we got into a lull, to nerves,” Crafton said. “I think it was just a matter of settling down into their environment, and they were able to play the way they are capable.”

In a must-win third set, Valtr and Todd lifted the Lady Yellowjackets, burying five kills apiece. Valtr finished with 21, and Todd 18.

Boyd fell behind by six in the fourth set before a Goliad service error and huge running save by Valtr started a comeback. Boyd tied the set at 21 on back-to-back kills from Valtr. Finishers from Shaylee Martin and Todd put Boyd at set point and on the way tying the match.

“There comes a point where someone gets a kill, dig or a block and it changes the whole atmosphere around the team,” Valtr said about the comeback. “When you see your teammates give everything you have, you just want to give everything you have too.”

Boyd staged a final comeback after falling behind 6-2 in the fifth to tie the set at 10. But Boyd could get only one more point before Brown ended the match and the Lady Yellowjackets’ season.

After receiving their bronze medals, Boyd players quickly started thinking about the work in the offseason and the goal of challenging for a state title next year.

“This is just going to fuel the fire. I’m going to work even harder,” Valtr said.

GOLIAD DEF. BOYD

Goliad (3) … 25 … 25 … 22 … 23 … 15
Boyd (2) … 17 … 21 … 25 … 25 … 11

KILLS – Goliad, Ashlyn Davis 24, Amaya Brown 21, Savannah Shaw 11, Karleigh Hill 4. Boyd, Macee Valtr 21, Jordyn Todd 18, Laney Pellegrini 8, Shaylee Martin 5, Kamryn Frenzel 2, Tori Pellegrini 2, Jacey Cate 1.

ASSISTS – Goliad, Kelly Thomas 56. Boyd, Tori Pellegrini 30, Macey McCune 22.

DIGS – Goliad – Kaci Hotz 29, Kassidy Nicholson 21. Boyd, Larrin Maxwell 23, Macee Valtr 19, Jordyn Todd 18, Kamryn Frenzel 10, Tori Pellegrini 10.

BLOCKS – Goliad (8.5), Karleigh Hill 4, Brooke Yanta 3. Boyd (6.5), Shaylee Martin 3, Laney Pellegrini 2.

ACES – Goliad, Kaci Hotz 6. Boyd, Tori Pellegrini 2, Jordyn Todd 2, Larrin Maxwell 2.

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