Sitting alone in first place atop District 8-5A, the Denton Lady Broncos have grown accustomed to getting everyone’s best shot.
Friday night was no different.
After dropping a pivotal game to Lake Dallas on Tuesday, Justin Northwest came into its match with Denton two games out of first, needing a win to keep pace. But the Lady Broncos came prepared.
Denton withstood the Lady Texans’ numerous rallies in a 25-22, 25-11, 25-23 sweep, putting a stranglehold on 8-5A in the process.
“Everyone wants to beat us because we’re at the top,” Denton outside hitter Taylor Thomas said. “Coming into this, we knew [Northwest] was going to have a lot of fight coming off a loss to Lake Dallas. It was so important for us to know we can do this, and we can win, as long as we focus point by point, push each other and keep going.”
The victory gives the Lady Broncos (29-9, 8-0) a three-game lead on first place with just four games remaining. Northwest, Lake Dallas and The Colony are all tied for second with 5-3 district records.
Denton can officially clinch its second straight district title with victories next week against The Colony and Braswell. Losses by Northwest, Lake Dallas and The Colony would also give the Lady Broncos the crown.
“We knew [Northwest] was going to come in a little bit desperate because they lost to Lake Dallas on Tuesday night,” Denton coach Cassie Headrick said. “We are attacking this. It’s not about defending anything. That’s kind of our mentality now with what we’re doing. Our motto for the last two years has been stay humble and be hungry. That’s all we can do.”
After the Lady Texans tied the first set at 20, Denton went on a 4-0 run before Sydney Soto buried a kill to give the Lady Broncos a 1-0 lead.
Soto finished the match with eight kills and 14 digs. Thomas was Denton’s leader in the kills department, putting down 13, including the one to seal the Lady Broncos’ win in the second set.
Denton then fended off Northwest’s final comeback bid in the third set, turning the Lady Texans away after they leveled the score at 19.
“They buckled down and talked themselves through it,” Headrick said. “They did a great job.”
With the victory, the Lady Broncos have won eight straight games dating back to Sept. 13.
But they know the most important match is the next one.
“We just have to keep working hard,” Thomas said. “Every team is out to get you. You can’t take any game off because you never know who’s going to show up and show out that day.”