Lauren Moore yells “Out!” in excitement as the Lady Pirates make their comeback against Colombia in set three.

The Rockport-Fulton High School (RFHS) Lady Pirate volleyball team defeated the Columbia Lady Roughnecks in three sets Thursday, Oct. 29 in Tidehaven in the bi-district round of the playoffs.

RFHS’ overall record moves to 11-9.

The Lady Pirates played three close sets with Columbia, but pulled away in the latter part of each set for the victory.

RFHS Head Volleyball Coach Mark Jeffery praised his team for battling back in set three down by five points.

“All year we’ve been talking about fighting through adversity and we have a bad habit of facing it and starting to doubt ourselves,” said Jeffery. “Tonight we faced some adversity and things weren’t going our way but we showed some fight so I think we grew up as a team tonight and it was a team win. Every player on that bus contributed in some way.”

RFHS defeated Columbia 25-18, 25-19, and 25-23.

In set one, RFHS pulled away as Colombia’s defense struggled to stop RFHS’ frontcourt play. RFHS eventually took a lead and Faith Ngo smashed the game winning kill in the end to make it 25-18.

In set two, both teams played a tight game as they went back and forth to the score of 13-13. Mikayla Molina then sparked a four-point run serving as RFHS took a 17-13 lead. From then, the Lady Pirates took control with good backcourt play and won the set off a block by Kaylee Howell.

In set three, RFHS took an early lead at 9-5 after forcing numerous defensive errors with good frontcourt play. After a timeout, Columbia went on a big run offensively and took a 17-15 lead. Columbia continued to play well and kept RFHS off balance to get out to a five point lead at 22-17. After an RFHS timeout, the Lady Pirates battled back with strong frontcourt play by Howell and key defensive saves by Payton Martinez to take a 23-22 lead. RFHS went on to score the 25th point off of a court violation by Columbia.

Martinez led RFHS defensively with 28 digs. Jessica Schibi followed with 14 digs.

Kaylie Skinner and Howell led RFHS in blocks with two each.

Molina led RFHS offensively with 15 assists. Sophia Byrom followed with 14 assists.

Howell led RFHS in kills with eight. Lauren Moore and Messiah Hernandez followed with seven kills each.

Molina also led RFHS in aces with three.

RFHS played in the area round Tuesday, Nov. 3 against Wimberley in Karnes City.

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