This is the only regular-season meeting between the two teams, but people on both sides of this rivalry expect the two teams to cross paths again in the postseason.
Realignment creates 58 districts
Boyle and Casey comprise half of the new 42nd District, a product of a statewide realignment that carved 32 districts and eight regions into 58 districts and 16 regions this season. Two teams will advance from each double-elimination district tournament to the regionals.
There were nine teams in the district Boyle and Casey played in last year, but now there are only four, as those two teams are joined by a dangerous Lincoln County team and Kentucky School for the Deaf for the tourney to be held the week of Oct. 6 at Casey.
"With our luck, we'll draw them the first game in the district," Casey coach Rachel Taylor said.
Taylor was unhappy because she said she thought her Casey team was outworked by Boyle.
"The biggest difference is they wanted it more than we did," she said. "Tonight the best team in the district won."
Boyle (13-10) came from behind after Casey (12-8) controlled the first game to snap Casey's six-match winning streak.
"I'm embarrassed," Taylor said. "We did good in the first game. In the second game you'd think we'd come out real fired up, but we gave them some confidence and what they needed to put us away."
Boyle's Lankford said she could tell her team was more confident, even when they fell behind in the first game.
"We were so much more excited and up during the whole game than they were," she said.
The match wasn't won on confidence alone. Boyle coach Dana Stigall said her team hustled as she hoped it would, especially after falling behind.
"Casey is always a team that hustles. I told our girls, 'You're going to have to outhustle them to beat them,' and we decided to do that in the second and third games," Stigall said.
Good passing helped Boyle
Both Lankford and Stigall said good passing helped Boyle.
"Our passing was awesome," Lankford said. "We've been talking and communicating on the floor so much better."
"Hitting is more fun to watch, but a lot of people understand the value of good passing, and I do have a really good passing team," Stigall added.
Stigall said many of Boyle's best passes came from sophomore setter Bruna Lozano.
"She did a great job of setting and had some really good digs," the Boyle coach said.
Two other sophomores, Rachel Staub and Stephanie Slone, made the most of those passes by leading Boyle in kills with seven and six, respectively. Senior Emily Rigney had four service aces in the final game to help clinch Boyle's win.
It's a win that Boyle will savor, but Lankford said it won't mean much if the two teams meet again in the postseason.
"We haven't won anything," Lankford said. "We still have to come out and play hard again."
Stigall there is much to be done before the season ends. Boyle's remaining schedule includes a game with Lincoln, which also figures to have something to say about who takes that trophy in three weeks.
"I'm not taking anything for granted yet," Stigall said. "We've got some big games ahead. I told the girls that whoever works the hardest between now and the district will probably come out ahead, and that's our goal. We're not finished. We're going to keep working."