Halfway Point Reflections

posted Oct 6, 2015, 12:43 PM by Bellaire Volleyball   [ updated May 13, 2016, 2:38 PM ]
2015 is a very special season.

The expectations for Bellaire High's volleyball program have always been high.  After all, Bellaire volleyball teams have made the postseason every year for the last 25 seasons.  But, the buzz and the expectations on this 2015 team seem to be higher.  Maybe, it's because these Cardinals have accomplished a few things past Bellaire teams have not. 

In the first half of the district play, the Cardinals swept every opponent in straight sets; a feat accomplished by last year's team.  The difference this year is Bellaire has been able to hold every opponent to under 15 points...in every set.  Undefeated and sitting atop the district standings, Bellaire has attracted the attention of local and state wide polls; largely by their pre-season performance.  Currently, the Texas Girls Coaches Association poll has Bellaire ranked 10th among all Texas high school teams and for the third consecutive week, Lone Star Volleyball (PrepVolleyball.com) has the Lady Cardinals at #6 in their Texas High School Top 20 Rankings  Within the local Houston area high school scene, Vype Magazine has Bellaire ranked 2nd for the third consecutive week.

During pre-district competition, Bellaire achieved a number of "firsts" in school history.  At the Addis Volleyball Invitational Tournament in Pearland, Bellaire won their pool and reached the Gold Bracket for the first time in school history.  The Cardinals notched major wins over Boswell, Clear Lake and Flower Mound.  And nearly ended Coppell's run to their eventual Pearland tournament Championship.  The Cardinals took Highland Park (currently ranked 3rd state wide in both the Lone Star Volleyball and TGCA polls) to a very close three set match loss.

The Cardinals won the Spring Branch ISD tournament the following weekend.  The semi-final win against Fort Bend Austin (currently ranked #1 Vype Poll, 7th TGCA, 7th LoneStar) was Coach Ap Clarke's 500th win as Bellaire High School's Volleyball coach; another Bellaire High School first.  Bellaire went on to beat Cy-Fair in the championship match with several Cardinals garnering individual tournament honors: Sundara Chinn: Tournament MVP, Megan Evans: Tournament MV Setter and Maya Evans: All-Tournament Team honors.  The Cardinals also had wins over significant opponents including Clear Falls and St Agnes (5 straight sets).      

At the district halfway point, there are some notable stats.  Ella Hawes leads the team in half the statistical categories; with team highs in service aces (54) and 197 points while serving, team high 298 digs and team high 289 serve receipts with only 20 errors.  In the Service category, 9 points separate the next five players; Sundara Chinn (148), Jade Robinson (147), Isabelle Long (145) and Megan Evans (139).  On 1,651 attempts, Megan Evans has 664 assists with only 13 ball handling errors.&nbsp In District 20-6A, Bellaire had complete control of the air space above the net.  As a team, Bellaire has collected 121 blocks with four players having 30 or more blocks; Maya Evans (58), Travana Matthews (44), Sundara Chinn (33) and Jade Robinson (30).  The Cardinal Air Attack features 4 players with more than 100 kills each.  Team Captain, Sundara Chinn leads the team with 229 kills, pre-season Vype Fab 50 player Maya Evans (196 kills), Team Captan Jade Robinson (106 kills) and Senior Middle Hitter Travana Mathews (103 kills) round out the 100 Club.  With 86 kills, look for Senior Lauren Li to join this elite group very soon.  What is so striking is the balance among players performances.

Tonight, the Lady Cardinals begins the second half of district play in Bellaire High's 60th year.  To match last year's team, they will need to finish district sweeping every team; again.  Since 1990, every Bellaire Volleyball team (25 years) has reached the playoffs; but, only one team (2008) has reached the Regional Quarterfinal.  The expectations have never been higher for a Bellaire Volleyball team.

Will this be the year when everything comes together: team chemistry, focus, hard work, leadership and a little luck?

Will this be THE TEAM to make a deeper run in the postseason?

Players feel it's time to make history.

Fans can enjoy the ride.