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VOLLEYBALL: Boyle finds fun in three-set win

Boyle County found the fun again Tuesday night.

Losses in seven of their previous eight matches might have robbed the Rebels of some of their joy, but they found plenty to smile about Tuesday night in a three-set volleyball victory over rival Danville.

Visiting Boyle swept Danville in three sets for the second time in three weeks, winning 25-17, 15-15, 25-18.

“The girls were enjoying themselves, and that’s something they haven’t been doing as much lately,” Boyle coach Andrea Craig said. “They’ve been enjoying playing volleyball, but they’ve not enjoyed being on the losing side.”

Boyle (13-10, 4-0 45th District) tightened its grip on the top spot in the district standings with a series of three scoring runs – one in each set – that put Danville (4-14, 1-5) away.

The Rebels took control of the match by scoring 11 consecutive points to close out the first set. Brittney Kincaid served out the set, which ended with an ace by Kincaid for the 24th point and a block by Jaelin Hunter for the 25th.

“I think we had a little more hustle than we’ve had in the last few games, and better communication,” Craig said.

Things were better for Danville, too, even though the result was the same as in the first meeting between the teams, which Boyle won 25-11, 25-7, 25-14 on Aug. 30.

“We have been improving,” Danville coach Maggie Myers said. “It’s fundamental volleyball. We are spending time every day in practice talking about body positioning, talking about hip placement, talking about footwork, and practicing all those things.”

Craig said she could see improvement in the Admirals as well.

“I think Danville has improved extensively from the last time we saw them. They competed really, really hard, and their girls communicated really well,” the Boyle coach said.

But the night belonged to Boyle. The Rebels broke an 8-all tie in the second set with six straight points, then reeled off another six in a row to go up 24-14. An ace by Madison Turney, a kill by Lexi Gourley and a block by Hunter capped the latter run, and Kincaid closed out the set two points later with a kill.

Danville still had some fight left for the third set, however. The Admirals took a 4-1 lead with the help of kills by Lyndsey Bell and Haley Wagner, and they led 17-16 after another Wagner kill.

But Boyle scored nine of the next 10 points to finish off the win, its seventh in a row over Danville over the last three seasons.

“We improved our consistency all across the board, and good communication is always the key. But we have to keep working. Even though we did it tonight doesn’t mean we’ll do it that way every time – or even the next time,” Craig said.
Myers said she considers this match another step forward for Danville, which was led by Lexi Branscum with three aces and Dora Swann with three kills. She said the Admirals have come a long way since the start of the season.

“Everybody on this team already had a fundamental understanding of the sport. One area where we’ve worked very hard is fine-tuning those fundamental skills,” she said. “We want to decrease the number of unforced errors we have. We want to put other teams in a position where they have to earn points.”

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