Take this

Faith Ngo jumps high away from the net for a hit to Wimberley’s backline.

The Rockport-Fulton High School (RFHS) Lady Pirate volleyball team finished its 2020 season Tuesday, Nov. 3 after losing in the area round of the playoffs to the Wimberley Lady Texans in four sets. The game was played at Karnes City High School.

The Lady Pirates finish the 2020 season with an overall record of 11-10 and finished the District 26-4A season in third place with a 8-4 record.

Wimberley defeated RFHS in four sets, 25-17, 25-16, 22-25, and 25-14.

RFHS played a tough match against a talented Wimberley team. RFHS Head Volleyball Coach Mark Jeffery said he was proud of the way the team fought and challenged Wimberley.

“A lot of people thought we didn’t even deserve to be on the floor with them and I think we showed a lot of people tonight we have the ability to be pretty good,” said Jeffery.

In set one, both teams began the night strong, going back and forth until the score was tied at 15 all. After some defensive miscues, Wimberley pulled away from RFHS in the latter part of the set and won 25-17.

After playing well in the first half of set one, Jeffery said he felt the team might have panicked a bit, leading to some mental mistakes on the floor.

“We had a lot of kids playing their second varsity playoff game and probably playing the best team they’ve ever played on a volleyball court,” said Jeffery.

In set two, Wimberley jumped out to a big lead as RFHS struggled defensively. Upon a 12-2 deficit for RFHS, the Lady Pirates called a timeout to see if they could make up for the lost points. RFHS scored 14 more points following the timeout behind some big plays at the net by Kaylee Howell. However, Wimberley took the set away 25-16.

In set three, RFHS played a great set all the way around against the Lady Texans. Payton Martinez, Kelsey Polasek, and Faith Ngo protected the backcourt while Howell and Kaylie Skinner made big plays in the frontcourt. As Wimberley struggled to defend the backcourt, RFHS went on a strong run and took a 19-13 lead. As Wimberley attempted a comeback, RFHS continued to hold on with big offensive plays by Howell and Messiah Hernandez. RFHS eventually won the set 25-22 off a well-placed tip to Wimberley’s backline.

“They cleaned it up in the third set,” said Jeffery. “They regrouped and they did a great job. They showed themselves and everybody in the gym what they’re capable of doing.”

In set four, RFHS began the set in a 7-0 hole and couldn’t get out of it in time to mount a comeback against Wimberley. The Lady Texans went on to take the set and game 25-14.

Howell led RFHS offensively with 15 kills. Messiah Hernandez and Lauren Moore followed with five each.

Sophia Byrom led RFHS in assists with 13. Mikayla Molina followed with 11.

Martinez led RFHS defensively with 27 digs. Ngo followed with 23 digs.

Skinner led RFHS in blocks with three. Ngo followed with two blocks.

RFHS will return all but one varsity player for the 2021 season. Jeffery said the young team is ready to do something special in the future.

“The ceiling’s really high for this young group and if we could start tomorrow, we’d start tomorrow. I’m ready to go,” said Jeffery.

At the conclusion of the 2020 season, RFHS will lose its lone senior, Sydnee Wanzer.

Jeffery said Wanzer is a person who cares a lot more about other people than herself.

“I’ve known her since she was in seventh grade when I was coaching middle school,” said Jeffery. She’s a tremendous young lady. She brings a ton of energy and there’s a positive vibe to Sydnee that’s contagious. We’ll definitely miss that.”

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