The Rockport-Fulton High School (RFHS) Lady Pirate volleyball team remains in contention for a district title after picking up an important victory over the Sinton Lady Pirates in four sets Tuesday, Oct. 19.
RFHS defeated Sinton in four sets, 25-15, 28-30, 25-21, and 25-18.
RFHS’ overall record improves to 25-7 with a 9-1 district record.
In District 26-4A standings, RFHS remains tied with Calhoun for first place; both teams have clinched the playoffs. Sinton is in second place after the tie, West Oso is in third place. Sinton and West Oso are also locked in as playoff teams.
Calhoun’s last game of the season will be played at Sinton next week.
It is still unknown how a district champion or seeding will be determined if both RFHS and Calhoun win out the remainder of the district.
RFHS has not swept Sinton in district play since 2012.
In a matchup where Sinton has traditionally been the victor, RFHS Head Volleyball Coach Mark Jeffery said it’s a huge boost of confidence for the team.
“It was huge, it’s a great win to show them what they’re capable of,” said Jeffery.
In set one, RFHS set the tone with a dominant performance in the 25-15 win. When asked how much confidence the first set victory instilled in the team for the remainder of the game, Jeffery said the team was already confident they could beat Sinton before the game.
“There was a different vibe when I talked to them Monday at practice and again before the game at school,” said Jeffery. “It was a lot less ‘hoping’ to win tonight, and more of the ‘expectation.’ Which is something we’ve been trying to get out of them for a long time.”
After the dominant performance in set one, Sinton fought back in set two and held a lead for the majority of the set until a kill by Kaylie Skinner brought the game back to a tie at 17-all.
From then on, both teams played each other closely until it was ultimately decided in extra rallies. Tied at 23-all, both teams went back and forth until Sinton put two rallies together to take the set 30-28.
Jeffery said emotions got the best of his team in set two.
“We got a little bit out of our game plan in that second set,” said Jeffery. “We fed into their high tempo offense and it kind of killed us there at the end.”
In sets three and four, RFHS sustained leads through the majority of sets to finally put away Sinton. Jeffery said the will to finish in tough games such as this one is something he’s seen his team take a big stride in this year.
“It’s been a hurdle for this group. The competitive factor is there, the desire to win is there, but just that finish and fight in tough games has lacked a little bit,” said Jeffery. “But tonight, they stayed under control, they stayed composed, and they stayed competitive.”
Sophia Byrom and Mikayla Molina led RFHS offensively with 24 assists each.
Lauren Moore led RFHS in kills with 18. Kaylee Howell followed with 17.
Skinner led RFHS in aces with three.
Howell led RFHS defensively with eight blocks. Alana Garcia followed with one.
Payton Martinez led RFHS in digs with 23. Jessica Schibi followed with 19.
RFHS played West Oso Friday, Oct. 22. Their last district game of the season is 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 26 at home against Beeville.