Boyle County takes down Lincoln County for district title

Published 1:42 pm Monday, October 23, 2017

Thursday night, the Boyle County volleyball team did something no other district team could do this year:  Win a game against Lincoln County.

However, the Rebels didn’t just settle for a game in the 45th District Tournament championship match. No, they won three straight games, 25-22, 25-23, 25-21, to knock off the top-seeded Patriots and repeat as district champion.

“Three straight baby!” said an excited Boyle coach Andrea Craig after the 3-0 win. “They wanted it. It was theirs for the taking. It was theirs to defend. They wanted every lick of it. I said if you don’t take it and play hard from start to finish, point to point, every single thing, you’re not going to have it. And they took it to heart. They wanted to get that 2-peat, defend their title.”

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Lincoln coach Samantha Torres said the Patriots just weren’t on for the district final.

“We just didn’t play our game,” she said. “I just think it was mental. We had a lot of injuries coming in and I think that might have thrown them mentally a little bit. And then with Jasmine (Whited) taking that blow to the head in the second set … we just didn’t play well from the start. We had way too many errors. We just couldn’t seem to find the floor when we were attacking and it just didn’t fall our way.”

Boyle (16-19) got off the bus fired up and never trailed in the first game.

The Rebels got off to a 5-2 start and were seemingly rolling toward an easy win when their smooth-running engine sputtered. Boyle saw Lincoln break on a 9-2 run to turn a 17-10 deficit into a 19-19 tie. The Rebels would retake the lead on a sideout, though, then moved on for the 25-22 win, Jaelin Hunter serving up the final point.

Boyle got off to another 5-2 start in Game 2 and, again, Lincoln (22-6) would rally. The Patriots evened the game at 6-all behind the service of Peyton Griffin only to have the Rebels respond with a 7-0 scoring run. Boyle picked up a point on sideout then scored six straight points off the serve of Sabree Norris to go up 13-6.

Craig offered plenty of sideline support for her team to help them during Lincoln’s rally effort.

“I just kept telling them, ‘Maintain your composure. Be gritty. Play hard,’” she said. “I told them if they just did that we’d get through it.”

The Rebels would have to hold off two Lincoln comeback attempts in Game 2. Boyle led 19-14 when Taryn Johnson took over service for Lincoln and the team pulled within 19-18. The Patriots finally posted their first lead of the game, 22-21, on an Alyssa Salyers’ kill. After two lead changes, Boyle pulled ahead 24-23 and Hunter tipped the ball over the net to end the game 25-23.

It was Boyle playing from behind in Game 3. After falling behind 7-4 in what would be the final game, the Rebels outscored the Patriots 8-3 to erase the deficit.

And they never trailed again. There were five ties before the curtain fell on the match. Boyle earned a sideout to break the final tie, 21-all. Hunter then served up the final points for the 25-21 win and the district repeat.

Craig breathed a sigh of relief after the close match, but said it came as no surprise.

“I expected it,” she said. If it had been something different I would have been very nervous. Lincoln’s a really good team. We’re a really good team. We came out with our game face on. Pistons were firing in all the right directions for us tonight. I couldn’t have asked for my girls to play any better than they did.”

“But I’ve got to give credit to Lincoln. They had some adversity that they had to face that they probably haven’t had this season, team competition, players going down injured. They fought through it and they still hung tough the entire time, the entire match. They are a fantastic team, but tonight we just got the better end of it.”

Brittney Kincaid had three aces, one kill, 11 digs, 14 assists and two blocks for Boyle. Mya Van Steenlandt finished with 13 digs and six kills, Sierra Dean had three aces, four kills and 13 digs, Jaelin Hunter had three digs, one kill and three aces and Tessa Linville had 12 digs.

For Lincoln, Savanna Smith finished with four kills, four blocks and nine digs, Taryn Johnson had three kills, one ace and four digs, Haley Bowen had one ace and eight digs, Jessie Wilson had five kills, Peyton Griffin had 11 assists, Jasmine Whited had four assists and four digs and Cassandra Jett had four blocks.

Both Boyle and Lincoln advance to next week’s 12th Region Tournament, which is being played at Pulaski County High School, but for Torres and the Patriots, going in as district runners-up was not the desired plan.

“We wanted to go in as district champion. Being the champion gives you that sense of confidence going into the region tournament,” she said. “That would have been nice. We’ll just have to try and figure out what happened tonight, correct it and try to move on.”


45th District All-Tournament Team


Keaura Davis, Kentucky School f/t Deaf; Nancy Gonzales, Danville; Brooke Atkins, Garrard Co.; Mya Van Steenlandt, Sierra Dean, Brittney Kincaid, Boyle Co.; Savanna Smith, Ashlyn Jarman, Lincoln Co.