For the third year in a row, Kim Boyd’s entire volleyball squad made the academic all-district team and for the second year in a row, Breanna Brandes was named District 25-4A's setter of the year.
The all-district teams were finally released after the district champion Fulshear Lady Chargers’ season ended with a state championship over the weekend.
Sealy also had a pair on each the first team, second team and honorable mentions with all 14 varsity players earning academic all-district distinction; Alexi Kulhanek, Ally Dickens, Alyssa Foertsch, Avery Oliver, Bailey Koy, Breanna Brandes, Brooke Kram, Brylie Nedd, Emily Luther, Haley Reese, Kenna Killough, Raegan Newsome, Sydney Rose and Zoee Jeffrey.
“Third year in a row that the whole team made academic all-district and the majority of them aren’t even just regular students, they’re in advanced placement classes and taking dual-credit courses, they’re not just successful in the classroom they’re truly going above and beyond,” Coach Boyd said. “They do a great job of time management, there were plenty of times that they got their homework done on the bus or right before a game.”
With things taken care of in the classroom, the Lady Tigers were able to take care of business on the court and secure a No. 3 seed from a tough district where the top two teams, Needville and Fulshear, were state-ranked and made deep runs in the playoffs.
All season long, Sealy’s offense ran through the court general at the setter position where Breanna Brandes has been stationed for the past two years, earning setter of the year honors in the district for as many years.
To begin this year she was sidelined with an injury but her impact was felt immediately upon her return and Coach Boyd said she only improved on her play from her first year on the varsity level.
“Last year she was a standout as a freshman and that really helped her develop this year,” Boyd said. “She doesn’t only just provide good hitting options for her teammates but she’s a great hitting option herself. Her stats weren’t as high as they could have been with her injuries sitting her down for a while.”
Looking into next year, Boyd is already excited to see what her junior campaign will bring.
“Moving ahead, I look forward to her running more plays, not like I was telling her every time but for it to become a natural habit for her to communicate with her hitters,” the coach said. “She’s a kid who’s looking to play in college, so I know she’s going to bust her butt here in the offseason to get there.”
The Lady Tiger representatives on the first team all-district were each a subject to and benefit of the injury bug, respectively. Ally Dickens missed the beginning portion of the season with a couple of different ailments and Alyssa Foertsch stepped in the place of Brandes to begin and soon proved her ability belonged on the varsity stage.
“The overall improvement from Ally Dickens was significant from last year to this year and even she sat out multiple games but was still an important player for us,” Boyd said. “Alyssa Foertsch was a huge difference-maker for us, the second she came on the team our stats went up and the scoring opportunities increased as well.”
Brylie Nedd and Raegan Newsome were the pair on the all-district second team with the latter closing her career on the honor.
“With Raegan, you could tell the difference when she was feeling it, when she was on, the whole team was on,” Boyd added. “Brylie is just relentless, she pushed through injuries as well and did a great job on both offense and defense.”
Newsome, as well as Haley Reese, will walk across the graduation stage in May and their coach was happy to have them ride off into the sunset with the recognition.
“Seniors did everything we asked of them, especially with all the other injuries, they were banged up too and played through it so for both of them to go out with the postseason distinction was great to see,” the coach said.
Reese earned an all-district honorable mention along with Brooke Kram whose consistent play kept the ship righted to weather the injury storm Sealy suffered.
“With Haley not playing since freshman year, I thought she did a tremendous job this year,” said Boyd. “She was always bringing the juice and keeping the energy up.”
Although she loses only four from this year’s team (Newsome, Reese, Zoee Jeffrey and Alexi Kulhanek), she’s looking forward to working with the whole team throughout the end of the year, and onto next year for those returning.
“Proud to have the opportunity to coach them all again and I’ll continue to do the best I can to support all their extra-curricular activities; even if they’re not multiple-sport athletes, we’ve got plenty in theater or band and I just always want the best for them in their extra responsibilities off the volleyball court,” Boyd said.