Following their best district record since 2015 and their first bi-district championship since 2017, the Sealy Lady Tiger volleyball squad was honored with a haul of all-district awards including two superlative winners, the co-coach of the year, three athletes on teams and four more with honorable mentions.
In addition, it was the fourth year in a row the entire varsity squad earned academic all-district distinction. On top of that, the six seniors also earned academic all-state honors from the Texas High School Coaches Association and Texas Army National Guard.
Leading the offense all season was senior Brylie Nedd, who eclipsed 1,000 career kills this year in her third varsity season and signed with the Blinn Buccaneers, and she was named the District 24 offensive MVP for her efforts.
“I've had the opportunity to put her up against some big hitters over the years for the same award and she fell short,” head coach Kim Boyd said in a Monday afternoon phone interview. “This year thankfully as a senior, there was a very heavy vote for her getting that award so it wasn't just us putting her up.”
Running the offense the past three years as been junior Breanna Brandes who earned her third consecutive district setter of the year award after taking another step in showing off her offensive arsenal.
“This year she was able to be more of a hitter and she actually had fewer assists than in previous years because he was a very big hitter for us as well,” Boyd said. “Can’t say enough about her … she's a kid anyone wants to have at the high school or collegiate level.”
A trio of senior classmates represented Sealy on the all-district teams between Ally Dickens on the first-team and Alyssa Foertsch and Brooke Kram on the second-team.
Ally has done a great job on the front row for us, she had to play more outside this year but she's a huge block for us, she's a smart hitter,” the head coach said. “She was able to be moved around throughout the season and did it without any complaints.
“Brooke and Alyssa, both huge (defensive specialists),” Boyd continued. “I think we could have had another superlative had we run a true libero but as far as our DSs really being a triple threat versus having just one person on the court says a lot about our defense. Even in that last match against Hargrave, the coach said that our defense was one of the best she's seen in years and I couldn't agree more.”
Another senior in Avery Oliver was one of four honorable mentions along with juniors Kenna Killough and Bailey Koy as well as sophomore Jasmyne Joiner.
“Wish we could have had more opportunities for them to make a team than just an honorable mention. Those kids showed huge change and growth over the years and they've been in the program,” Boyd said. “Oliver is a three-year varsity player and is pulled in all different directions with all the different extracurricular activities she does and she was still able to improve from even last year. Bailey, like I said, was a big part of the defense in the back row.
“Kenna had an injury and was still coming back from surgery at the beginning of the season and then in the last few matches she really stepped up in a huge way to play outside, especially in that last match with Hargrave,” Boyd said. “Jasmyne is a first-year letterman, she played middle for us and she's just continuing to grow. She was our block leader for the entire year and that was also splitting time between other players. I think in the Bellville game alone she had eight blocks and that was the three-set match at their place.”
In her fourth year at the helm, head coach Kim Boyd guided the Lady Tigers to a co-district championship in the regular season and a playoff win amidst a pandemic and was named the co-coach of the year. Also earning co-coach of the year honors was Bellville’s Susan Brewer who finished the regular season tied atop the district standings with a similar 9-1 record.
Although she said she was grateful to be honored, Boyd added the team deserved more of the credit for the award with the way they showed up to work.
“It's an honor to be the co-Coach of the Year, but it's because my team is so good. I was fortunate enough to be able to show up and my kids will be the high-caliber team that they are,” she said. “My award speaks more towards them.”
Those student-athletes took care of business on the court as well as in the classroom and for the fourth season in a row, the entire varsity squad earned academic all-district distinction. In addition, the six seniors Darby Sanders (first-team), Alyssa Foertsch (first-team), Ally Dickens (second-team), Avery Oliver (second-team), Brooke Kram (second-team) and Brylie Nedd (second-team) made THSCA’s academic all-state teams with overall GPAs higher than 92.
Joining their teammates in making academic all-district were juniors Breanna Brandes, Bailey Koy, Emily Luther, Julia Jurecka and Kenna Killough, sophomore Jasmyne Joiner and freshman Blair Kram. All of whom will return next year to bolster the roster and reload for another battle with the state semifinalist Bellville Brahmanettes.
“Across the board, the volleyball program has some very smart kids and they're almost all in AP or dual-credit classes,” Boyd said. “It's not like it's just getting good grades, but then you get the weighted GPA on top of that and they're still well above the minimum grade point average for the award so they do it all; the kids are not just student-athletes but they're also in theater, choir, volunteer at their church activities and things like that. For them to be able to still be so successful speaks well about how they were raised and what they're expected to do not just at school but in all parts of life.”