With a sweep of the Madisonville Mustangs on the road last Friday, the Sealy Lady Tiger volleyball squad collected its fifth three-set victory in a row, and sixth out of its last seven games, to move to 13-3 on the season.
However, in this week’s installment of the Texas Girls Coaches Association Poll, Sealy fell two spots to No. 18 overall.
Earlier last week, the Lady Tigers took down the La Grange Lady Leopards in straight sets by allowing only 50 points. Sealy head volleyball coach Kim Boyd was pleased with the effort against a solid La Grange team that’s been in the playoffs every year for a decade.
“It wasn’t just a fluke, it wasn’t just because we played lower-end teams,” Boyd said. “We want to play our game no matter the level of the other team so when it comes to a tougher team like La Grange, we’re still going to be able to do our job.”
The first set was the closest with the lead ping-ponging between the teams. The Lady Tigers went on a run to take the lead but the Lady Leopards battled to make it a one-point deficit at 23-22 and forced a Sealy timeout. The hosts came out of the break and secured the final two points to win the opening set.
Going into the middle set, Boyd said more adjustments were made defensively but set two was another back-and-forth affair.
“We had to change our defense for certain players who kept getting certain shots,” Boyd explained. “It should have been something we picked up but we were versatile in changing our defense and they bought in and that’s when they started to take it away.”
A similar stretch ended the second set where La Grange tied it at 19, the Lady Tigers scored three points in a row to force a timeout before winning the next three points in a row to put themselves in a position to sweep.
It was around the same time when students moved to the stands to create a fan section for Sealy’s final non-district home game.
“They love when their friends are around, they love the chanting and they feed off it,” Boyd said. “It was really nice the student section was able to get out of practice early enough to come help make a difference.”
The Lady Leopards scored only nine points in the final set as the Lady Tigers put the nail in the coffin of their fifth sweep with district season right around the corner. Boyd feels as though the recent performance as well as the teams seen in non-district play set Sealy up well to begin on Sept. 22.
“We’ve talked about a long run and what the end goal is and where we see ourselves and how we’re going to get there so it’s just going to be who can battle this COVID tribulation the best to finish out on top,” the head coach said. “We talk about how important it is that all this preseason hype is for nothing if we can’t continue it and stay healthy during district, so they know how important it is and they want it for each other and they keep reminding each other.”
In last week’s competition, Brylie Nedd totaled 24 kills, 12 digs, four aces and a block, Breanna Brandes contributed 17 kills, 26 assists, seven digs and four aces and Emily Luther added 31 assists, eight digs and six aces. Alyssa Foertsch chipped in 15 digs and four aces, Bailey Koy had 18 digs, Ally Dickens delivered six kills, Brooke Kram supplied two aces, Avery Oliver collected five kills and Jasmyne Joiner was in on a block.
At the end of the day, Boyd knows the key ingredient to this year’s success comes from within the group.
“The most important thing is that they go out and do their best but most importantly it’s to have fun because when they do, it correlates to how well they will do in the game,” Boyd said. “If they’re having fun, talking and doing their jobs, then we’re going to come out on top more often than not.”