The Byron Nelson High School Bobcats' volleyball team flew all the way to Hawaii to participate in the Ann Kang tournament two weeks ago. Coach Brianne Groth's squad finished second, losing only the championship match to Redondo (CA).
This past weekend, the 'Cats were right at home this past Saturday – literally – as they grabbed their second consecutive Northwest ISD (NISD) Classic championship.
You see, Byron Nelson is one of the three host schools for the NISD Classic. And, the rotation of courts in the district for the tournament put this year's championship match held on the Bobcats' court.
Groth's squad took advantage of the situation, sweeping Lucas Lovejoy in two sets (25-20, 25-18) to win their second straight NISD title. BNHS now stands 18-1 overall on the season.
"(Lovejoy) is a really talented, well-coached team," Groth stated afterward. "We may have swept them but it was nowhere as easy as it looked (on the scoreboard)."
Four BNHS players (junior Charitie Luper, senior Paige Flickinger, junior Addi Miller and senior Skyler McKinnon) all had at least five kills each. Luper, voted the tournament MVP, slammed 15 kills and made one solo block in the win. Flickinger, named to the All-Tournament team, powered 13 kills past Lovejoy; she had a block-assist and service ace as well. Miller had two block-assists to go with her five kills while McKinnon blasted five kills.
Ryan Mitchell's Leopards (16-3) were led by junior Offensive MVP Cecily Bramschreiber, who totaled 12 kills and one block-assist. All-tournament team members sophomore setter Averi Carlson (22 assists, four kills) and junior libero Callie Kemoha (23 digs) contributed to the cause.
The tournament continues to grow – in size and strength, All told, there were 11 teams ranked in today's Texas Girls Coaches Association (TGCA) poll, including Byron Nelson (#1 in Class 6A), Lovejoy (#2 in 5A), Randall (#3 in 5A), Flower Mound (the state's defending 6A champ; ranked #5), Eaton (#6 in 6A) and Sachse (#8 in 6A).
It was Eaton – along with Nelson and Northwest High School, the third school that makes up Northwest ISD – that made quite a few headlines last weekend.
Diane Wilson's Eagles won the Austin ISD/Jason Landers tournament the previous weekend with a perfect 9-0 slate. The Eagles came into the tourney with a perfect 10-0 mark; they swept each of three opponents the first two days, including impressive wins over TGCA-ranked Randall and El Paso Coronado (#17 in 6A) on Day Two.
Lake Ridge ended the Eagles' run on Saturday, but it took three hard sets for Eaton to fall. The Eagles would finish fifth in the tournament, compiling a 7-2 record in the impressive field. They're now 16-2 overall.
Flower Mound (12-2) entered the weekend as the state's #1 team but back-to-back losses to Mansfield and Sachse kept them from reaching the championship match. Still, Jamie Siegel's Jaguars beat state-ranked Waxahachie in its final match for 10th-place in the deep tournament field.
NISD Classic All-Tournament Team
MVP: Charitie Luper, Byron Nelson (Outside Hitter)
Offensive MVP: Cecily Bramschreiber, Lovejoy (Outside Hitter)
Defensive MVP: Gia Santini, Byron Nelson (Libero)
Setter MVP: Payton Chamberlain, Byron Nelson (Setter)
Paige Flickinger, Byron Nelson (Outside Hitter)
Averi Carlson, Lovejoy
Callie Kemoha, Lovejoy
Adeline Ortman, Eaton
Alicia Hearn, Sachse (Outside Hitter)
Madison Williams, Lake Ridge (Outside Hitter)
Lyric Stewart, Lake Ridge (Outside Hitter)
Zoe Parker, Randall (Outside Hitter)
Katie Le, Mansfield
Mollie Blank, Mansfield
Annabelle Smith, Southlake Carroll
Nnedi Okammor, Hebron
Check out all the action from the NISD Volleyball Classic Semi-Finals: Mansfield Tigers vs. Lovejoy Leopards - presented by VYPE Live.