The Rockport-Fulton High School (RFHS) Lady Pirate volleyball team clinched its first district championship since 2014 after defeating the Beeville Lady Trojans in three sets Tuesday, Oct. 26 at home.
The Lady Pirates are District 26-4A Co-District Champions with Calhoun. Both teams end the regular season with an 11-1 district record. RFHS finishes the regular season with an overall record of 27-7.
Calhoun traveled to RFHS to play an extra game to decide playoff seeding Friday, Oct. 29. Winner takes the #1 seed into the postseason.
They will play either Stafford, Bay City, or Sweeny in the first round of the playoffs. All three teams are currently tied for third place in District 25-4A.
A district championship was a long time coming for senior middle blocker Kaylee Howell. Howell has been on the varsity team since her freshman year.
“It was a really difficult journey, but in the back of my mind I knew we always had it in us,” said Howell. “We’re a really hard working team, a really hard working program, so I knew it was going to take time and the right set of people working together.”
RFHS Head Volleyball Coach Mark Jeffery said he was excited the team finally got to experience a district championship in high school.
“This senior and junior class is really, really close. They have been for a long time, and it showed this year,” said Jeffery. “These seniors have won a lot in their time here, from seventh grade until now. So it was kind of the expectation for them.”
Jeffery said with that expectation came a lot of pressure. Last year, the team worked through that pressure. This year, Jeffery said the team learned how to win under pressure.
“This year we started to learn how to win,” said Jeffery. “We won a lot of close games and we started to play more consistently.”
That consistency led to a win streak of 10 games at one point during the regular season.
Against Beeville, RFHS breezed through the first two sets, winning 25-11 and 25-9.
In set three, Beeville kept it close midway through, but the Lady Pirates pulled away winning 25-16.
Sophia Byrom led RFHS offensively with 19 assists.
Makyla Molina followed with 13 assists.
Lauren Moore led RFHS in kills with 12.
Howell followed with 11 kills.
Kelsey Polasek led RFHS in aces with three. Moore followed with one.
Payton Martinez led RFHS defensively with 23 digs.
Polasek followed with 10 digs.
Kaylie Skinner led RFHS in blocks with three.
Howell followed with two blocks.
RFHS will play their bi-district round playoff game either Monday, Nov. 1 or Tuesday, Nov. 2. A time, place, and opponent were yet to be determined at time of press deadline.