The Rockport-Fulton High School (RFHS) Lady Pirate volleyball team fought hard but could not overcome a tough La Vernia Lady Bears team in a three-set defeat Thursday, Nov. 4 in George West.
La Vernia defeated RFHS 25-23, 25-18, and 25-19.
RFHS finished the 2021 season with an overall record of 29-8 and Co-District Champion’s of District 26-4A with a 10-2 district record.
After a late rally by La Vernia in set one, the Lady Pirates could not get out in front of the Lady Bears for the remainder of the game.
RFHS Head Volleyball Coach Mark Jeffery said the girls never stopped fighting throughout the game, keeping it close in each until the very end.
“I’m just so proud of the kids, man. They never quit, they never gave up, they stuck to the game plan and did everything I asked them to do,” said Jeffery.
Going into the game, the matchup with La Vernia was going to be a tough task for RFHS.
“They’re a good team, there was no doubt about that,” said Jeffery. “They’re very disciplined and do a good job of controlling the ball.”
For Jeffery, it was just a few mistakes here and there that led to their defeat, as well as calls not going in their favor.
“We made a few too many mistakes, and there were numerous things that didn’t go our way,” said Jeffery.
In set one, La Vernia took an early lead in the set, but RFHS would battle back to tie it at 11-11 and rode a small lead for the majority of the set. Leading 21-18 at one point, RFHS was in position to win the set. However, La Vernia went on a small run and overtook RFHS in the very end to win 25-23.
In sets two and three, La Vernia did not let RFHS back into the game, keeping a small lead in front of RFHS.
RFHS closed the gap to within 2-3 points several times through both sets, but La Vernia’s ball control overwhelmed the Lady Pirates.
The Lady Bears eventually pulled away in the latter part of each set to secure the victory.
At the conclusion of the 2021 season, RFHS will lose six seniors on the roster to graduation.
Seniors are Kaylee Howell, Payton Martinez, Mikayla Molina, Lauren Moore, Kaylie Skinner, and Kelsey Polasek.
Howell has been on the varsity team since she was a freshman. Martinez, Molina, and Moore were three-year lettermen.
Jeffery said he’s losing a strong core group of seniors and expects nothing but amazing things to come of them.
“That’s a special group of kids. If you got to know them, they’re just different,” said Jeffery. “They’re extremely hard workers, they’re disciplined, just quality human beings.
“It’s going to be weird without them. I’ve had them since they were in sixth grade, so it’s going to be a bit different.
“It’s a really, really, really special group of girls that I will remember forever and cannot wait to see them grow up and be amazing moms, wives, employees and all the other amazing things they’re going to do.”
While RFHS will lose a large portion of their starting rotation, Jeffery said the team will reload and be back next season.
“We’ve got a good, core set of girls coming back and some good young ones,” said Jeffery. “You saw Emma (Groseclose) play tonight, so we’ve got some good young ones. The future is fine, I’m not worried about the future, but I am going to miss those seniors.”