Kingwood falls one game short of perfection
Published 3:31 pm Friday, October 23, 2015
By BAKER ELLIS / Sports Editor
MONTGOMERY – Nineteen games into the volleyball season, Kingwood had yet to drop a set. The Lady Lions came into the AISA AA Final Four sporting a 19-0 record and seeking the school’s second volleyball AISA title, and first since 2008. The Lady Lions were familiar to this scenario and setting, as they also brought an undefeated record into last year’s AISA AA Final Four before falling to Tuscaloosa Academy.
Kingwood made sure this year it would not be denied a chance at the title, as the Lady Lions handled Lee-Scott Academy easily in the semifinals, beating the Lady Warriors in three sets to move to 20-0. In the state championship game, Kingwood matched up against Macon East, who had been taken to five sets for the first time all year in the quarterfinals by Coosa Valley. The dream of a perfect season and a state championship died in the same match, as Kingwood not only lost to the Lady Knights in the championship, but lost in straight sets, 25-19, 25-21, 25-20.
“We matched up pretty well against them,” Kingwood head coach Anthony Boyd said. “There were a couple of key positions where we were just flat.”
Kingwood was a hard-hitting team all season, on the offensive as often as possible, and never matched up against anybody who could really handle the power of the Lady Lions front line. That was not the case against Macon East, who had the size, skill and power to match Kingwood at a number of positions. Even still, Boyd felt good about his team’s chances heading into the game.
“All this week we had the game plan,” he said. “I pulled up some old video, everything that Macon East did, I went over with them in the film session. We were expecting it. There were too many small foxes. Small mistakes that add up. Passing, serving balls out, things that we generally didn’t do all year. The fundamentals just weren’t there. We didn’t bring to the table what we were supposed to bring to the table.”
This marks the second year in a row where Kingwood has brought a perfect record into the AISA AA Final Four but has been unable to close the deal. Regardless, a streak of 20 consecutive games without dropping a single set is an impressive feat.
Kingwood finished the season 20-1 and will graduate five members of its 10-member varsity team, but will return Kathryn Boyd, Kirsten Boyd and Natalie Watts to lead the way next year.