Kingwood hopes to stay perfect

Published 4:09 pm Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Kirsten Boyd, with ball, is one of the key players on this year's Kingwood volleyball team. (File)

Kirsten Boyd, with ball, is one of the key players on this year’s Kingwood volleyball team, currently undefeated at 11-0. (File)

By BAKER ELLIS / Sports Editor

ALABASTER – A year ago, the Kingwood volleyball Lady Lions fell via the rule of averages. Sporting a perfect 32-0 record heading into the AISA AA Final Four, Kingwood ran up against Tuscaloosa Academy, a team the Lady Lions had beaten four times prior that season. The fifth time was, unfortunately, the charm for Tuscaloosa County, and Kingwood fell 25-23, 25-11, 20-25, 25-14, just short of a state championship.

This year, Kingwood was 11-0 through September 14, and head coach Tony Boyd has most of his squad back from a year ago.

“I take our girls to public school games around the county, just to watch and see how we measure up,” Boyd said in a Sept. 15 phone interview. “Pound-for-pound I think we have the best team in the city (of Alabaster) and maybe the best team in Shelby County. The school (Kingwood) is really small and doesn’t get a lot of exposure but what we’re doing here is incredible.”

Boyd has been with the Kingwood volleyball team for six years, but is in his second year as a head coach, meaning the Lady Lions have only lost once during his tenure to date. He and his team remembers last year’s loss to Tuscaloosa Academy on the big stage, and is using that as fuel for this year’s fire.

“We beat that team (Tuscaloosa Academy) nine times out of 10,” Boyd said. “That left a really, really bad taste in our mouths. We couldn’t wait for this season.”

Leading the way for this year’s crop of talent at Kingwood is junior outside hitter Kathryn Boyd, who was an All-Shelby County and Honorable Mention All-Metro a season ago. Kirsten Boyd, a ninth-grader, and Natalie Watts, an eighth-grader, are the other two integral, young cogs that make this team go. The main pieces of this Kingwood team are all young, said Boyd, and have played together for years already.

The goal this year, like every other year, is to win a state championship, Boyd said.

“This is a young group, but our goal is to win a state championship every year.”