By TONY EIERDAM
GRAFORD – With an athletic, overpowering and tall front row and a solid back row, Class 2A Boyd had little trouble in a 25-3, 25-11, 25-11 win over the Graford Lady Rabbits here Tuesday night in a non-district volleyball clash.
Lady Rabbits head coach Derek Wuthrich said the Lady Jackets were easily the strongest team his team has faced all season.
“I like the way our girls hustled against a strong team,” he said. “They gave us the most attacks we have faced all year.
“We got in a lot of work on blocks and tips – the most we have had this season – and I really felt we never gave up.
“We were a little bit out-matched (Tuesday), but the girls played hard and hustled the entire match.”
One area Wuthrich was pleased in was the Lady Rabbits’ serving. Boyd actually recorded more serving errors than GHS.
“I was very pleased with our serving,” Wuthrich said. “I have seen improvement the last couple of matches. Despite the scores, I felt like we played a lot better than we have been playing.
“I thought every girl was putting more on her serve, and we gave them a hard time with that which is what we are going to have to do to be successful.
“Boyd was tough defensively and they made us earn every point. But we need matches like this to prepare us for district play.
“We have to get this type of work in including net attacks because we are blessed with height up front.
“We really needed to see an offense like Boyd’s to test our defense.”
Boyd scored the first 12 points of the opening game until a kill by middle hitter Katie Rochelle put Graford on the board.
Boyd added three consecutive points before a sneaky back-row kill from libero Ashley Hay cut the lead to 15-2. Boyd closed out the opener on a 10-1 run.
In game two, a kill each from Rochelle, Hay and hitter Kyndze Pendergraft – along with a Boyd service error – cut Boyd’s lead to 8-4.
But the Lady Jackets went on a 7-1 run before a block from hitter Esmeralda Balvantin cut the lead to 15-6.
Rochelle added another block later in the second game and Ashly Rogers fired an ace, but Boyd scored on the final two rallies to take a 14-point win.
Boyd raced out to a 7-1 lead in game three, but Graford scored two of the next three points courtesy of a Boyd service error and a block by Balvantin cut the lead to 8-3.
The Lady Rabbits would add a kill and a block from Rochelle, and a pair of back-row stoppers from Hay, but Boyd scored the last five points to clinch game three and the match.
The Lady Rabbits will continue non-district play at 10 a.m. Saturday at Ranger.