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Boyd wins TNCAA championship

The Lady Broncos won the TNCAA championship over the weekend (Photo provided)

JK Stanley Gymnasium is about to get redecorated. The walls are going to need more room to hang championship banners.

The Boyd Lady Broncos capped a tremendous volleyball season by winning the TNCAA championship Thursday night, then following it up with a second-place finish in the TSIAA Division 2 tournament.

Boyd was busy last Thursday, making a trip to Nashville to play two pivotal tournament matches. The Lady Broncos started the night by topping Metro Christian 25-12, 25-21 and 25-18 to win their first state volleyball title, then beat the Academy of G.O.D. to move into the finals of the TSIAA tournament. In the TSIAA title tilt, Boyd fell 26-24, 25-13 and 25-21 to Dickson.

While winning both was the mission when the week started, the Lady Broncos were more than happy to bring back trophies in both – especially one that said, ‘Champions.’

“I’m proud of the girls and the season we have had. It’s been filled with obstacles, but the girls overcame and pulled it together,” said coach Amanda Key. “We are proud of all their accomplishments this year and look forward to continuing to build upon that success.”

Boyd’s road to a championship definitely had its bumps, including negotiating some early struggles without their leader. Coach Key noted that some of the biggest obstacles for the team came early, when she and her assistant coach – and husband - Trent Key were away from the group to welcome a baby into their lives.

The season started to pick up steam upon coach Key’s return. The Lady Broncos still had to ride some ups and downs throughout the end of the regular season, including playing some matches less than full strength, but they hit their stride when it mattered most.

Boyd started the postseason with a huge sweep of Covenant on the road, then made its way to Nashville with intentions of claiming two titles. They came away with one, thanks in big part to the play of Krista Chisam.

The sophomore, who was named second-team, all-state by the TSIAA early last week, showed why she was so well regarded in the final matchups. Chisam was named the tournament MVP following the TNCAA championship and also was named Game MVP in the team’s championship loss in the TSIAA.

Chisam was as reliable as ever in the finals of both tournaments, pounding serves, setting up teammates and flying around the court to make plays. She is set up to be the backbone of the Lady Bronco program going forward, which does lose three seniors this offseason.

One of those seniors is Anna Jones, who had the opportunity to put on the finishes touches in the TNCAA title game. Jones finished off Metro Christian with back-to-back aces, the first splitting the defense and the second which was hit back over the net, only to fall well out of bounds.

The Lady Broncos watched the ball drift wide, then celebrated in style as they knew the championship trophy was coming back to McMinnville.

It was a great way to end the season, especially for Jones, Sarah Woodruff and Lia Wright – Boyd’s three senior starters. They were all on the court for the final point and were right in the middle of the group hug after the team received its trophy.

Boyd can rest easy now that the mission is complete for the 2021 season. The Lady Broncos also know, with Chisam and company returning, the outlook is bright for the future. With the two-time MVP, big hitter Audrey Durham and speedy setter Kendlee Ferrell – among others – set to return next year, this may only be the beginning for the Lady Broncos.

The TNCAA and TSIAA better be on the lookout: A dynasty could be building on the volleyball court at Boyd.

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