SPORTS HEADLINES

Boyd’s dynamic offensive attack propels Lady Jackets to region tournament

By Richard Greene | Published Tuesday, November 6, 2018.
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Holliday’s Brea Box displayed her potent hitting ability, racking up 15 kills, including the 1,000th of her career Tuesday night.

But the Holliday senior was no match to the vast amount of weapons at the disposal of Boyd setter Tori Pellegrini. The setter fed the ball to seven different hitters as the Lady Yellowjackets swept their former district rival in the 3A Region I quarterfinal in Jacksboro.

Boyd won 25-13, 25-21, 25-12.

Messenger photo by Kelly Basting.

“It’s nice as setter to have so many options,” said Tori Pellegrini, who finished with 29 assists. “When we’re out of system, I’m OK because we have so many options. We all know what to do and we have someone in every corner. It’s truly a blessing for me.”

Boyd (40-5) moves on to the 3A Region I tournament at Lubbock Cooper High School for the second straight year. The Lady Yellowjackets will play Shallowater at 6 p.m. Friday in the region semifinal as they try for another state tournament trip.

“There’s a lot of pressure for these kids,” said Boyd coach Dusty Crafton. “We tell them they can’t think of it that way. We have to turn that pressure into a good thing and not a bad thing. That takes a lot of that pressure off because that’s such a big milestone. You get to that point and everything is possible.”

Boyd’s dynamic attack piled up 35 kills between eight players, hitting .286. Tori Pellegrini even joined the act, calling her own number for a kill as the Lady Yellowjackets started to pull away in the third set.

“I looked over before and saw all of them were in a rut and knew it was my time,” the Boyd setter said.

Ruts were few and far between. Boyd trailed for only seven points in the three sets.

Messenger photo by Kelly Basting.

The Lady Yellowjackets took control of the opening set with a pair of aces by Macee Valtr and three kills by Jordyn Todd during a 9-0 run. Todd’s sixth kill of the first set gave Boyd the 12-point win.

Todd finished with eight kills. Valtr led Boyd with nine kills to go along with three aces.

Holliday fought back from a four-point deficit in the second set to pull even at 15 after three kills from Box. Tori Pellegrini then started feeding the ball to her twin sister, Delaney, to get momentum back. Delaney Pellegrini buried four kills during a 6-2 spurt that put Boyd on the way to a 2-0 lead. Delaney Pellegrini tallied six kills.

“Coach said I needed to give Delaney the ball. I gave it to her and she terminated everything,” Tori Pellegrini said. “A little twin moment was there I think. It’s awesome. We just know what each other likes.”

With their tough serving and moving the ball around offensively, the Lady Yellowjackets neutralized Box in the third and final set. Box managed just one kill in the set as Boyd opened up a 14-point lead and Lubbock Texas grew nearer and dearer.

“That was the whole idea with our serving. We were trying to serve super aggressive when she was on the front row,” Crafton said. “We knew where she was trying to hit, and where they wanted to send it. We were trying to put our defense in the best spot. We scouted a lot of games. She’s a really good player and that was key.”

As solid as Box was, Boyd’s strength in numbers proved superior.

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