SPORTS HEADLINES

Volleyball: Spirited comeback captures Lady Jackets’ character

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, November 18, 2017
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Tough Challenge

TOUGH CHALLENGE – Boyd’s Macey McCune tries to get the ball over a Goliad blocker during Thursday’s 3A state semifinal. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

For two sets, it appeared that the bright lights of the state stage may have been too much for the Boyd Lady Yellowjackets Thursday morning.

The Lady Yellowjackets found themselves down 2-0 and on the verge of seeing their first trip to the state tournament come to a quick end. Then the program that had come so far in just five years, going from three straight winless district campaigns to a state tournament team, put its resiliency on display.

The Lady Yellowjackets, who came back in the region quarterfinal to beat the 2016 3A runner-up, won a pair of sets and forced a fifth-game tiebreaker against the defending 3A champions Goliad.

“We’re known for good comebacks,” said Boyd junior Jordyn Todd.

Historic Run

HISTORIC RUN – The Boyd Lady Yellowjackets took home bronze medals and a state semifinalist trophy after their 38-8 season ended Thursday with a five-set loss to defending 3A champion Goliad. Boyd reached the state tournament for the first time this season. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Even in the fifth set when getting down and running out of time, Boyd staged a final rally before Goliad finished off the match and brought an end to the Lady Yellowjackets’ best season.

“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.

Since Crafton arrived in 2012, she’s worked tirelessly to establish that culture of never giving up on a point or your teammates – on or off the court. It was on full display during the fourth set, as Boyd fought back from an 18-12 deficit.

“When you see your teammates give everything you have, you just want to give everything you have too,” said junior Macee Valtr.

Though a final rally was not in the cards to get the Lady Yellowjackets to Saturday and a chance to play for a state title, the journey was not spoiled for Macey McCune and her fellow seniors, Shaylee Martin, Jacey Cate and Rebecca Jordan.

All Out Effort

ALL-OUT EFFORT – Boyd’s Jordyn Todd jumps to dig a ball during Thursday’s match. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

McCune recounted her first talk with Crafton as an eighth grader when she was told not to lunge when hitting.

“The first thing she said was don’t lunge. I’ve been here with her since that,” McCune said.

“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.”

Receiving a bronze medal wasn’t the ending to the year that Boyd wanted. But the experience of this year has them already hungry for a return.

“We have what we need to do for next year. We’re going to be working hard in the offseason,” Valtr said.

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

Todd offered: “We are coming back.”

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