Written by SportsDayDFW.com
McKinney Boyd loses five-set thriller in 5A volleyball semifinal
GARLAND — McKinney Boyd didn’t win its 5A state semifinal against New Braunfels on Friday, but it left the Curtis Culwell Center with no regrets.
Boyd overcame the loss of senior standout Megan Mollett and a 2-0 deficit to force New Braunfels to a five-set thriller. The improbable comeback fell just short, though, and New Braunfels held on for a 25-23, 25-21, 24-26, 19-25, 15-12 victory to advance to Saturday’s championship match.
“I could not be more proud of this team right now,” Boyd coach Kelly Quinn said. “That match showed the kind of character this team has.”
Mollett, an outside hitter who signed with Arkansas on Wednesday, suffered an unspecified knee injury midway through the first set and did not return. She later left the arena on crutches.
Mollett led Boyd with 490 kills entering Friday’s semifinal. She also had 400 digs, 59 blocks and 37 aces.
Boyd senior middle blocker Krista Bukovec said the loss of Mollett shocked the team, and it took the better part of three sets to figure out how to win without her.
Boyd trailed 17-11 in the third when Quinn called a timeout. Her team rallied from then on, seizing momentum after a 9-3 run to tie the score. Senior Kelly Koop later closed out the set with three consecutive aces, and Boyd’s rally carried into the fourth.
Koop finished the match with a team-high 22 kills and five aces. Quinn said the senior’s performance was the best of her high school career.
She was one of three Boyd players with double-digit kills. Bukovec had 13, and sophomore Ashleigh Martin — who didn’t play during the regular season because of a knee injury — came on in Mollett’s place and had 14. Lauren Petrisin contributed nine kills.
Boyd, which lost to Coppell in last year’s 5A state finals, finished the season with a 37-8 record.
New Braunfels (46-4) advances to face Coppell (48-3) in the 5A championship match at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Baylor pledge Neka Cuppetilli led New Braunfels with 26 kills. Libero Daniella Villarreal had 34 digs, and setter Jessica Waldrip dished out 51 assists.
Follow David Just on Twitter at @DavidJustDMN.