DETROIT (WJBK) - A traveling volleyball team wraps its arms around a Texas teenager - grieving the loss of her father and step-mother.
The couple died Sunday in a plane crash near Detroit's City Airport. Now Krysta Boez's team is pulling together - to help her during this devastating time.
Her brother, 17-year-old Peyton Boaz is the sole survivor of a Cessna plane crash and is recovering at the hospital. The family was in Detroit for a volleyball tournament at Cobo Center.
It is a tournament in which 14-year-old Krysta Boaz didn’t hesitate to play in Tuesday.
“We have to be the light in the darkness," said Mary Margret Armstrong. "There is always darkness at different points in our lives and Krysta has a great darkness over her right now.”
As a volleyball coach you do the best you can to prepare your team for a match. But nothing prepares you for a tragedy like the one that happened on Sunday.
When a single engine plane crashed just outside Coleman A. Young International Airport in Detroit. The fiery crash took the lives of Greg Boaz and his wife Julie from Texas.
Those near the crash helped rescue 17-year-old Peyton, who can be seen running from the wreckage on video. He was then rushed to the hospital.
A friend of his from Texas set up an online fundraiser in an attempt to raise money for his medical costs. The family was flying in to see their 14-year-old daughter play volleyball in a massive tournament at Cobo.
Krysta was already in Detroit with her team when she learned what happened to her family.
“She never questioned whether she would play or not," Armstrong said. "As soon as we got there in the hotel the next morning, the morning that we started playing, she was already in her uniform ready to go.”
A welcome distraction to an unthinkable event. A travel sports team can sometime be a second family and that was clearly on display during their game on Tuesday.
“I told them I don’t know if there is another 14-year old team that can handle what they are handling with the grace and the strength and the faith that these girls are just handling it," Armstrong. "It’s made my heart just so happy. I’m very proud of them.”
And for one moment during a period of despair this team from Texas got a chance to feel something else as they celebrated a win on the court.
"In the last days we’ve had crying things and (being upset)," said Armstrong. "This brought a sense of peace and excitement to these girls that was just amazing to watch.”
Krysta's team won their second game of the day to go 5-0 and they will be playing tomorrow. USA Volleyball, which runs the event, says there will be a moment of silence held before the starts of matches tomorrow.
There is a GoFundMe page for Peyton, which says the teen is battling third-degree burns, and is off his ventilator with a surgery scheduled for Wednesday.