Seniors end regular season at home

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Although there is still volleyball left to play, four seniors played their final regular season game at the Sealy High School gym, earning a clean sweep of the Royal Falcons.

Kendall Dornak, Faith Haugen, Makaylah Scott and Diari Dabney still have plenty of school left in this final year but their time on the volleyball court is certainly winding down.

However, the intensity of those games will soon pick up, as their next match will be a tiebreaker for the No. 3 seed in the district. Although already securing a spot in the postseason, the district seeding will set the stage for weeks to come and who ends up facing which team.

"I expect my team to play their game and give it all they have," said Head Coach Kim Boyd heading into the playoffs. "We have taken sets from big teams and need to play at that level the rest of the season."

The first team on the list is the El Campo Lady Birds, who just evened the season series at one apiece with the away team winning both times during the regular season.

That Friday match will be played at Tidehaven High School in Markham with the first set scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m.

Before then, the Lady Tigers needed only three sets to take care of the visiting Falcons from Royal on Senior Night.

Haugen led the way in the dig-category with 19 when it was all said and done while Dornak fired three service aces.

However, it was the underclassmen that paced the offense, with sophomore Brylie Nedd registering another double-digit kill performance with 11. Freshman Breanna Brandes assisted on 34 total scoring plays while sophomore Ally Dickens contributed the only block.

Sealy ended its regular season with a 22-18 record overall and a 7-5 mark in the district which is still good enough to advance, but Head Coach Kim Boyd was hoping for more.

In any case, it will be a rematch of the five-set grinder of last Friday’s match with El Campo with plenty more on the line.

But first, there was a matchup with the Fulshear Chargers, who remained unbeaten in district play last week.

The Lady Tigers also had to travel to the Chargers’ court where it has been difficult to play this year.

Opponents who make the journey to Fulshear only have one victory and it came back in August by a Tompkins school that participates in Class 6A. In fact, the only other team to even win a set at the Chargers’ place was district foe Needville, the second-place team whose only loss in district-play is to Fulshear.

Those two teams have been battling for the top spots while Sealy and El Campo have been battling for the final two playoff spots, with their final regular-season meeting coming at the end of last week.

The Lady Birds left more doubt than the Chargers, as the host Lady Tigers battled back from dropping the first two sets to force a decisive fifth set.

Brandes continued to build up to 41 total assists after helping Nedd (14 kills) and junior Zoee Jeffrey (11 kills) to double-digit points.

Brandes chipped in five kills herself, as did junior Reagan Newsome and Dickens, who also added three blocks. However, it was Dabney who led the team in the block category with five total.

But by the end of the match, it was El Campo that ended with more points and escaped Sealy with a win that avenged an early-season 3-1 decision that went to the Lady Tigers.

And now the stage is set for the third meeting of these two teams with the playoff brackets still to be finalized.

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