The last time Saginaw Boswell volleyball reached the regional tournament, it was 1991.
On Tuesday night, Boswell made history by rallying in the first set and then sweeping Colleyville Heritage 25-22, 29-27, 25-20 in a Class 5A Region I quarterfinal at Haslet Eaton High School.
“We’ve been working on this for four years, this was our plan all along, to come in here and try to build a program and we gradually got better every year,” Boswell coach Kevin Anderson said.
“It was pretty exciting, just a typical playoff matchup,” added Kylie Courtney, who had 45 assists.
Boswell (40-9) gets No. 1 Amarillo (39-6) at the 5A Region I tournament at Kimbrell Arena in Abilene at 5 p.m. Friday.
The Pioneers trailed 14-4 in the opening set that led to a timeout from Anderson.
Heritage (35-9) led 17-11 and 19-14 only to see its lead vanish. Hannah Boyd, who had 10 kills, and Kailyn Gilbreath gave Boswell its first lead at 23-21.
“We finally started playing,” Anderson said. “Maybe it was all the emotion and energy, but we weren’t as sharp as we liked to be, but once we got into a groove, we were good from there.”
The second set produced a whopping 15 ties all the way from 14-14 through 27-27. An error on the Panthers and a kill from Gilbreath extended Boswell’s lead to 2-0.
Boswell rallied again in the third set. Gilbreath, who had 19 kills, scored on match point.
“It’s pretty crazy,” Gilbreath said. “Even though it was a sweep, it was tight the whole time and we knew it was going to be tough competition, but we worked as a team.”
Said Anderson: “Two good teams going at it, battling all night and we just kept fighting. You couldn’t ask for more out of a volleyball match.”
Long time coming
Keller (31-15) swept Midland 25-14, 25-23, 25-14 to advance to the 6A Region I tournament in Glen Rose, the program’s first since 1993.
“The girls have been doing well at executing the game plan and focusing on one point at a time,” coach Jamie Siegel said. “You get worried with every set in the playoffs. At this point, everybody is good and you have to show up and play every set.”
The Indians face defending 6A state champ Hebron (42-6) at 6 p.m. Friday.
Mansfield Lake Ridge (36-14), meanwhile, earned the program’s first trip to regionals after beating District 10-5A rival Midlothian in four sets.
The Eagles play No. 5 Lucas Lovejoy (39-7) at 5 p.m. Friday in the 5A Region II tournament at Richardson Berkner.
Carroll, Aledo win
Southlake Carroll and Aledo rounded out area winners with sweeps over Allen and Grapevine, respectively.
Carroll (42-6) faces El Paso Coronado (33-5) at 8 p.m. Friday at Glen Rose. Aledo (39-8) plays Amarillo Randall (36-5) at 7 p.m. Friday in Abilene.