The Sealy Lady Tiger volleyball squad ended the first round and opened the second round of play within District 24-4A the same way: with a sweeping victory.
Last Tuesday, Navasota made the trip to Sealy for the team’s first meeting and Royal came to town last Friday for the teams’ final regular-season meeting and the hosts came out on top in both to move to 5-1 within District 24-4A entering play this week. New state rankings from the Texas Girls Coaches Association were also released at the beginning of this week with the Lady Tigers moving up from No. 19 to No. 14.
The end of this week brings the second meeting against the other ranked team in district, the Bellville Brahmanettes, who remained at No. 5 in the newest rankings and entered this week of play 6-0 against district opponents.
Despite those marks, Sealy head volleyball coach Kim Boyd said the focus remains on battling for the top spot in district.
“We know what the goal is in mind. We’re still trying to come out on top so next week’s going to be more challenging in practice to focus on Friday’s match against Bellville,” Boyd said after last Friday’s win.
The head coach said she’s been pleased with the effort put forth on the practice courts and looked forward to more improvement from the squad.
“We’re going to have to continue to out-hustle the other teams during practice so that way when we do play them, we’ll see the change,” Boyd said. “The defensive specialists are chasing down crazy balls,
setters are doing a lot of individual work, our hitters are taking the time in the individual work to make sure we’re able to capitalize on bigger blocks and they’re just going to continue to grow from here.”
On top of the volleyball work, a handful of student-athletes balanced time between their athletic and agriculture duties with the Austin County Fair going on last week.
“We have three varsity girls who are actively involved in fair coming out and working hard each day which shows a lot about their character and work ethic,” Boyd said. “We had girls in practice that were having to work out of their normal spot because we didn’t have a full team this whole week, so it was nice to see everybody’s not just willing to but able to fill those roles.”
Important off-the-floor roles were also filled with a slew of new celebrations being debuted to maintain energy levels.
“The bench was still cheering loud and hard, we had some brain breaks to come up with some new cheers because we know that it’s important for the bench to be just as loud to help bring the vibes onto the court,” Boyd said. “It’s important that we stay energized and ready to work the whole time and the bench helped with that.”
As a result, The Lady Tigers were victorious in both of their matches behind 22 kills and a block from Brylie Nedd, 13 kills, three aces and a block from Ally Dickens and 31 assists, nine digs, six kills, six aces and two blocks from Breanna Brandes.
Also, Alyssa Foertsch added 16 digs and 10 aces, Blair Kram contributed 10 assists and three aces, Brooke Kram registered 15 digs, Bailey Koy had nine digs and an ace, Emily Luther recorded nine assists and an ace, Avery Oliver chipped in five kills and Jasmyne Joiner provided two blocks.
Last Tuesdays’ match against the Navasota Rattlers featured plenty of coaching connections between the benches. Sealy’s Coach Boyd started her coaching career in Navasota and got to see plenty of familiar faces after the match.
“My first job was in Navasota. One of the assistant coaches was a senior when I was there,” Boyd said. “Just like Coach (Brateicka) Mock and Coach (Jersey) Gates were in the same grade and then Gates’ dad was my boss and he’s still there, he’s been there a while. Lots of connections, I still call them anytime I have questions, that was my first coaching family and we had a really tight bond so it was great to see some people afterward and it’s going to be the same thing if not more when we go there.”
Boyd said she coached the Rattlers for three and a half years before spending four years in College Station and is now in her fourth year at the helm of the Lady Tigers’ volleyball program.