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Boyd sweeps showdown to land back at state

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, November 14, 2018
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Two in a Row

TWO IN A ROW – The Boyd Lady Jackets won their second straight 3A Region I title Saturday, sweeping Bushland to advance to the state tournament. Messenger photo by Richard Greene

Since the UIL placed former 4A power Bushland and defending 3A Region I champion Boyd in the same region in February, the two appeared on a collision course.

Nearly from the first practice, Boyd began preparing for the inevitable 3A Region I final.

“We started getting film on them as soon as we could,” said Boyd coach Dusty Crafton. “The kids didn’t know it, but every day or every other day, we were practicing something they did. They didn’t know that. We tried to keep them focused on what they had in front of them.”

Saturday when the region final came around, Boyd’s preparation hit a quick wall as its first two shots were blocked.

Standout Performance

STANDOUT PERFORMANCE – Boyd teammates cheer as Macee Valtr accepts the 3A Region I MVP award. Boyd swept Bushland to earn a return trip to state tournament. Messenger photo by Richard Greene

But it didn’t take long for the well-prepared Lady Yellowjackets to find a solution to keep attacking. Boyd’s powerful trio of Delaney Pellegrini, Macee Valtr and Jordyn Todd combined for 34 kills to lead the Lady Yellowjackets to a sweep and a second straight trip to the UIL volleyball championships.

Boyd beat Bushland 25-19, 25-18, 25-14 at Lubbock Cooper High School.

“They had a great block, and they are a fantastic team. They have a lot of talent and skill,” Valtr said. “With all the teamwork we have and the aggressive focus we had on offense today, it just clicked.

“To get around their block, we just focused on higher sets and getting off the net. There wasn’t too much we were worried about.”

Valtr was named the 3A Region I tournament MVP. She had 10 kills and 16 digs in the region final. She was joined on the all-region team by Todd and Delaney Pellegrini.

Boyd (43-5) will return to Garland and the Class 3A semifinal where it lost in five sets last year to eventual champion Goliad. The Lady Yellowjackets will play Region IV champion Vanderbilt Industrial at 11 a.m. Thursday.

“We are so exciting to go there. The memorable loss to Goliad is still fresh on our minds,” Valtr said. “We’re ready to go there and get it done.”

The victory was the 200th career victory for Boyd coach Dusty Crafton. The team presented her with a commemorative trophy following the match.

Valtr started a 6-2 run that put Boyd up 17-11 in the opening set, slamming the ball off a Bushland block. Valtr landed two more kills in the set, including a heady tip that began a 3-0 closing run.

With her team holding a one-point lead, 16-15, in the second set, Delaney Pellegrini got a set from her sister, Tori, but was unable to land a kill down the line. Delaney Pellegrini responded quickly to the unforced error, putting down back-to-back kills that put Boyd up for good in the set.

She landed nine of her team-best 14 kills after the unforced error.

“I wanted to make sure I did whatever I could for my team,” Delaney Pellegrini said. “Tori did an amazing job mixing things up so they didn’t know where we were hitting from.”

Tori Pellegrini handed out 32 assists to five different hitters.

With her team one set away from a state berth, the four-year starter Todd righted the Lady Jackets after an early wobble in the third game. She land two of her 10 kills around a Kamryn Frenzel ace to give Boyd a 7-4 lead. Boyd never looked back as Delaney Pellegrini delivered the final shot to send the Lady Yellowjackets back to Garland and make all the preparation worth it.

“To be with the same group and we all want the same thing is amazing,” Delaney Pellegrini said.

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