In the waning moments of the third set of Sealy volleyball’s Friday night match with the Sweeny Bulldogs, the Lady Tigers’ six seniors took the court together to score the final points and put the nail in the coffin to complete a non-district sweep on senior night.
“We had some of our (defensive specialists) playing front row just to give them an opportunity to have one last game playing together and they were all very excited about that,” Lady Tiger head coach Kim Boyd said. “It’s not anything we’ve necessarily practiced for, some players when we’re scrimmaging have to play back row for injury prevention purposes and then there are times where kids are gone and someone else has to play front row, so it’s not like they’ve never played those positions.”
Alyssa Foertsch, Ally Dickens, Avery Oliver, Brylie Nedd, Brooke Kram and Darby Sanders were on the floor for the final points following a socially distanced senior night ceremony.
“Ceremony was a little different this year with all the masks and separation in the back, no tunnel to come out of,” Boyd said. “Our parents complied with our COVID rules and did an awesome job helping out the girls set up, it was a very memorable night, so they were very happy.”
Instead of being announced and running through a tunnel of their teammates, the seniors and their parents lined up distanced against the back wall for a brief anecdote and pictures before the match got kicked off.
Sealy got out to early leads over Sweeny in each of the sets and allowed only 28 total points against (25-9, 25-7, 25-12) to move to 11-3 on the season. Earlier in the week, the Lady Tigers took down the Stafford Lady Spartans, also in three sets, by 25-7, 25-15, 25-9 scores.
Nedd collected 23 kills, 11 digs and two aces over last week’s competition, Dickens added seven kills, Kram recorded 11 digs and two aces, Foertsch chipped in six digs, Oliver delivered a pair of aces and Sanders had a block.
Junior Breanna Brandes totaled 15 kills, 15 assists and three aces, Kenna Killough and Jasmyne Joiner had three blocks each, Emily Luther contributed 22 assists, seven aces and five digs, Bailey Koy collected 16 digs and a pair of aces and Blair Kram added 12 assists.
Friday’s senior night ceremony was only moved up to ensure the celebration ahead of an uncertain road ahead and although time isn’t yet running out for the players in their final years, the message remains the same ahead of district play.
“It’s not like this was our last game, but we always talk about how it doesn’t matter the team we’re playing, we always need to play like it’s the hardest team in the state,” Boyd said. “We did play up to the level that’s expected of us tonight and the results showed on the scoreboard.”
Earlier this week, the Lady Tigers hosted the La Grange Leopards before traveling to Madisonville this Friday for the penultimate non-district match. After another road trip to Cuero on Sept. 18, Sealy will open its district slate with a trip to Brookshire to square off with the Royal Falcons for the first action within District 24-4A on Sept. 22.
“Loved the energy and excitement they had and I hope that it translates to the tougher games to follow,” Boyd said of the Lady Tigers’ performance Friday night.