The Flower Mound Jaguars have had targets on their backs since the Texas high school volleyball season started back on Aug. 1.
Jamie Siegel's Jags "stumbled" out of the gate with "just" a 12-3 start before last weekend's highly-rated Volleypalooza tournament, put on by Rouse High School and Leander ISD.
But the Jags found their claws in Leander and ripped through a deep field and beat Pearland Dawson in three sets, 25-14, 23-25, 25-15, to take home the tourney's 2019 championship trophy.
"This was such a strong tournament," Siegel stated afterwards. "For us the (challenge here) was 90 percent mental and 10 percent physical. I'm proud of these girls – they played hard and never got rattled. We went down (the first set) to The Woodlands but came right back after adjustments.
"In the championship match, Dawson won the second set; but the girls adjusted well and took the third set. I'm very proud of them."
Tournament MVP Kaylee Cox (a junior) of Flower Mound (17-3 overall; 9-0 at Volleypalooza) slammed 13 kills against Dawson after hammering 16 in the semifinals win over The Woodlands. She had a solo block and two block-assists in the semis and added a block-assist in the finals. Teammate Angelique Cyr (junior) added 15 kills against Flower Mound after hammering nine kills against The Woodlands.
Senior Alexia Jones of Lauren Leth's Dawson squad (19-3 overall; 7-2 at Volleypalooza) was the tourney's Outstanding Hitter and cranked out 16 kills in the final. Senior teammate Aliyah McDonald, named to the All-Tournament team, chipped in with eight kills, one solo block and one block-assist in the loss.
As stated, the Volleypalooza field was deep with state-ranked teams. The Woodlands (26-2 overall) finished 7-1, losing only the semifinals to the Jaguars. Teri Wade's Highlanders placed two players on the All-Tournament team, seniors Clara Brower (setter) and Dylan Maberry (outside hitter).
Southlake Carroll (18-4) finished fourth at Volleypalooza, compiling a 7-2 record while losing to Dawson in the tourney semis. Teresa Dunn's squad put two on the All-Tournament list: senior middle blocker Annabelle Smith and junior libero Keagan Polk.
Lucas Lovejoy (8-1 in the tournament; 25-4 overall) rounded out the Volleypalooza Top Five. Ryan Mitchell's Leopards lost to Dawson in the quarterfinals, then rallied to beat Prosper and Churchill to finish out the tourney. Sophomore setter Averi Carlson was named the tournament's Outstanding Setter while junior teammate Cecily Bramschrieber earned All-Tournament honors.
Other teams that will be ranked in the Top 15 in the state include Churchill (sixth at Volleypalooza with a 6-3 tournament record); Prosper (5-3, tied for seventh) and Rouse (6-2, tied for seventh); Canyon Randall (ninth, 8-1, winner of the Silver Bracket title); Dripping Springs (10th at Volleypalooza, 6-3); Clark (11th, 7-2); and Mansfield (6-3, 12th).
Volleypalooza All-Tournament Team
Award, Name, School (Year)
MVP: Kaylee Cox, Flower Mound (Jr)
Offensive MVP: Alexia Jones, Dawson (Sr)
Defensive MVP: Dahlia Miller, Dawson (Sr)
Setter MVP: Averi Carlson, Lovejoy (Soph)
Angelique Cyr, OH, Flower Mound (Jr)
Hailey Hutchings, MB, Flower Mound (Jr)
Aliyah McDonald, MB, Dawson (Sr)
Dylan Maberry, OH, The Woodlands (Sr)
Clara Brower, Setter, The Woodlands (Sr)
Julia Lopez, Libero, Churchill (Jr)
Lourdes Gomez, OH, Churchill (Jr)
Brianna Ford, OH, Randall (Sr)
Cecily Bramschrieber, OH, Lovejoy (Jr)
Grayson Schirpik, OH, Rouse (Sr)
Reilly Heinrich, Libero, Rouse (Sr)
Sami Jacobs, OH, Prosper (Jr)
Bailey Birmingham, OH, Prosper (Jr)
Annabelle Smith, MB, SL Carroll (Sr)
Keagan Polk, Libero, SL Carroll (Jr)
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