Boyle outlasts Garrard for district volleyball title

Published 11:19 am Monday, October 23, 2023


Contributing Writer

LANCASTER – Boyle County’s win was more valuable because it was more difficult.

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The Boyle volleyball team was stretched to five sets Thursday night before they finished off Garrard County to win the 45th District Tournament for the second consecutive year.

The Lady Rebels would have gotten the same trophy no matter the score, but they said being able to win a match like this was rewarding in more ways than one.

“It feels amazing to win such a tough match, just because we knew they were going to be tough competition,” Boyle setter Emma Young said. “Just to bring our energy up and work together felt amazing, we really felt connected as a team tonight.”

It also might have been a good springboard for Boyle going into the 12th Region Tournament.

“We’ve been talking about having a winning mindset for the second half of the season, so being able to pull something out like that, it just builds the confidence,” Boyle coach Eric Kenoyer said.

It was only the third time Boyle (24-13) went to five sets this season. They won a five-set match in their most recent meeting with Garrard, which they defeated four times during the regular season, and lost in five to Trinity Christian, which they will play Tuesday in the first round of the regional at Somerset Christian.

Garrard (18-14) outscored Boyle 13-3 in the fourth set to force a fifth. The final set was controlled by the Lady Rebels, who scored five of the first six points and won 15-4.

“I told them to get their heads up and be reckless,” Kenoyer said. “We were winning points when we were reckless and playing to win versus playing to lose. I really leaned into my leaders and said, ‘Guys, I’m not using timeouts, you’re going to get us through this. I trust you guys, you guys have led us all year.’ And they did.”

Young said the Lady Rebels quickly put their fourth-set failure behind them.

“You lose a point, you move to the next one. You just have to keep going, that’s what a championship mindset is,” she said.

Garrard (18-14) is enjoying its winning season since 2015 – the last time it won the district – and its winningest season since 2002, but the Lady Lions were denied in the district final for the second time in three years.

“That door’s got to fall eventually,” Garrard coach Samantha Torres said. “This is the best season that we’ve had in a couple of decades, so we’re really looking to keep that going. This just sets the bar.”

Torres said even in defeat, the Lady Lions gained momentum for the regional, where they played four-time defending champion West Jessamine on Monday in the first round.

“We brought our ‘A’ game and we fought every single point until the end, and that’s really all you can ask for,” she said.

All-Tournament Team

Boyle County — Kendra Christopher, Charli Grubbs, Camryn Thompson; Danville — Amarie Wright; Danville Christian Academy — Grace Meyer; Garrard County — Chloe Middleton, Skylar Mullins; Kentucky School for the Deaf — Alyson Tucker; Lincoln County — Victoria Wilburn.