Red-hot Boyd Buchanan volleyball program enters postseason with 22 straight wins

Staff photo by Olivia Ross / Boyd Buchanan cheers after a play. Boyd Buchanan took on Silverdale Baptist at home on Tuesday, September 27, 2022.

Boyd Buchanan senior volleyball star Cali Sandhoff has never heard Jett Gymnasium louder than during Tuesday's sweep of Silverdale Baptist Academy by the scores of 25-17, 25-19 and 27-25.

The Lady Buccaneers (24-2 overall, 10-0 Division II-A East Region) sent their packed home crowd into a frenzy in the second set as Caitlyn Kruse served a perfect ball just over the top of the net with tumbling top spin that was returned right in to Sandhoff's wheelhouse.

Before Silverdale could react, Sandhoff delivered a sonic-like boom as she rose high at the middle of the net for one of her 11 kills. Her powerful slam brought the house down as fans, players and even coaches marveled at the dominant sequence which came in a momentum-shifting 6-0 run for Boyd.

"I couldn't even hear myself think after that," said Sandhoff, a Covenant College commit whose season-high for kills is 19. "Hearing the crowd get so loud and seeing everyone's reactions was so crazy. This season has been special and we want to keep it going throughout the postseason."

The Seahawks (10-11) held a 23-17 lead in the final set, but could not hold off one of the state's top teams. Boyd Buchanan has won 22 straight matches, the only losses to Mount Pigsah Christian (Ga.) and East Hamilton.

Kruse (five aces) and Sandhoff helped deny a strong attack by Silverdale's Faith Woods, which led to Sandhoff's fourth block to help spark a 7-0 run late in in the set. Senior libero Calla Brady had an ace during the run, part of a night in which she displayed strong defense, with several of her 24 digs coming on dives.

Woods provided the visitors a 25-24 lead with her ninth kill followed by an ace, but Boyd closed the match with Isabella Messer collecting her sixth and seventh kills.

"The chemistry these girls have is off the charts," Lady Bucs coach Shanda Kirk said. "They realize teams are trying to compete with them, so their mindset is: We are that team to beat and it's our time. They truly fight and trust one another."

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