October 25, 2016
The Falcons volleyball team closed out the season undefeated in district play to secure its first TAPPS 3A District Championship. In just its fourth year, the volleyball program has made tremendous strides.
"Two years ago, I had a group of just freshmen and sophomores, most of whom had limited volleyball experience,” said Head Coach Katie Hoff. “We played local TAPPS teams, but we were not ready to compete at the varsity level. We did a lot of high, slow passing and had a limited offense. The following year was our very first year to compete with a varsity squad, even without seniors, and we battled our way in to the fourth place playoff spot for the 2A bracket. That year, 2015, was a pivotal year for us, because by pushing them to compete as a varsity team with no seniors and still earning a playoff spot, the girls learned what they were really capable of accomplishing, and we gained some very valuable experience. This year, competing in 3A, the girls really have a drive to succeed as well as a sense of how to compete and how to set goals, and they also finally have the experience and skills to make those goals reality. Our game is much faster now, much more aggressive, with tougher hitting, more accurate sets, tighter defense, and serves used as weapons. The difference between the 2014 team and the 2016 team is really night and day."
Although this is the team’s first season playing at the 3A level, the goal from the beginning was to compete for the District Championship. Success hasn’t come easy, as the team fought through some early losses, but in the end, gained invaluable experience entering district play. The key to the team’s consistency in district play has been its depth – each player has played an integral role.
“I think we have been a really well-balanced team this year,” said Hoff. “Lots of teams have one or two go-to players that really stand out and do most of the point scoring, but our team has had solid contributors from one end of our roster to the other. I found this year that if one girl was having an off game, another would step up and fill the gap. We never had to rely on just one player. Our success has really been a whole team effort, and our team has been unified and complete. Another asset this team has is its refusal to give up. We found ourselves in some tight spots in some district games, but always had the confidence to fight back and win some crucial matches.”
Now that it has secured the regular season District Championship, the team’s focus shifts to its first game in the Area Playoffs against either Pasadena First Baptist or Austin Hill Country Christian. Last season, the team went to the playoffs but lost in the first round. This year, Hoff is hoping for a different outcome.
“Our goal is to win this playoff game,” said Hoff. “It would be the first playoff win in program history so it would be especially meaningful to get this win. We have actually played both teams before. FBCA is in our district, and we beat them twice this year. Austin Hill Country is the higher seed and will probably win. We played them in a tournament in Baytown this past August. We lost 1-2, but I feel like we are a much better, more solid team than we were back then, and I think we have a great shot at getting a win. After that, the goal is to make it to the state tournament in Brownwood. We'll need to win just one more match, the Regional match on Tuesday, November 1, and then we'd earn our spot in the final four at State - that would be an absolute dream, and it's just within reach.”
About Frassati Catholic High School: Founded in 2013, Frassati Catholic High School serves the families and parishes in the north Houston area of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Administered by the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia Congregation from Nashville, TN, Frassati Catholic High School prepares students to walk on the path of true happiness through a robust college-preparatory curriculum rooted in the Catholic faith. The school currently serves students in grades 9-12. For more information about Frassati Catholic High School, contact Kyle Smith, director of communications, at 832-616-3227.