Although last week started slow for the injury-riddled Lady Tigers on the volleyball court, they came out even of the Lamar Consolidated tournament over the weekend.
The Caldwell Lady Hornets, who were ranked No. 5 in Class 4A in the most recent edition of the Texas Girls Coaches Association rankings, came to Sealy for a non-district showdown last Tuesday and despite a lack of volume from the bench early on, the support was heard loud and clear down the stretch.
Unfortunately, those cheering from the bench were confined there, as back injuries have senior Zoee Jeffrey and junior classmates Ally Dickens and Brylie Nedd sidelined. On top of that, sophomore setter Breanna Brandes is also working her way to full health from a back injury but is on the court albeit playing a more limited role than last year.
The team chemistry, however, has never been at risk of injury, and head coach Kim Boyd spoke to that after the 3-0 loss to Caldwell.
“The senior leaders that are still with us have been doing a great job,” she said. “We’re just going to try to keep playing as a team, we may not be the big team anymore but we’re going to be the team that out-hustles, hard work is going to outplay and beat teams with more talent so that’s what our goal is.”
The two healthy seniors have been in communication with Boyd and will look to continue carrying the squad through the preseason.
“Glad to see Hailey Reese show up, she showed up in a big way and I’ve talked with her and Raegan (Newsome) about how we really only that them as seniors and experienced players so they need to be a true presence on the front and back row and they did just that,” the coach said.
The Lamar tournament got started on a meeting with the Paetow Panthers where Reese, Newsome, Kenna Killough and Avery Oliver all notched a trio of kills to help earn a 2-0 win.
After that was a 2-0 loss to Cypress Lakes but Reese and Newsome grabbed six and five kills respectively that game and helped take a bounce-back game over Van Vleck, 2-0, where the two seniors teamed up for five kills apiece and had Oliver (4) and Killough (3) right behind them.
The second day of competition ended in a pair of losses for the Lady Tigers, first to Elkins 2-0, then Columbia, 2-1, but something sparked them heading into day three. Sealy rattled off 2-0 wins over the Stafford Spartans and Galveston Ball Golden Tornadoes, setting up the final match of the tournament with the Alief Hastings Lady Bears.
Reese put up six kills and Brandes registered 11 in both the assist and dig category while Killough, Brooke Kram, and Sydney Rose all provided a service ace but it wasn’t quite enough as the Lady Tigers fell, 25-16 and 25-20 to close out the competition and move to 11-15 overall heading into this week.
Coming down the pike for Sealy will be a home battle with East Bernard before the Sweeny tournament takes place this weekend to wrap up the first month of the season, providing ample opportunity to improve although Boyd knows they’re not that far off, to begin with.
“(It might be) the year of the back (injuries), but we’re coming back,” she said.