2017 District 18-6A Undefeated Champions

posted May 22, 2018, 4:30 PM by Bellaire Volleyball   [ updated Jun 15, 2019, 4:09 PM by David Hawes ]
The 2017 season will forever be remembered as the year Hurricane Harvey laid a catastrophic blow on Houston.  And the example Houston gave the rest of the world on how communities come together to help their neighbors.  The swollen Braes Bayou flooded the Bellaire community causing irrevocable damage and loss for many of our families.  Everyone in our community was negatively impacted by the Harvey tragedy.

Harvey damaged multiple HISD schools and athletic facilities, canceling multiple events and delaying the start of school.  In District 18-6A, all but the final two matches of the first round in district play were canceled.  As a result, UIL and HISD Athletics agreed to use only the second round of district competition to determine the final district 18-6A standings in 2017.  For Bellaire's sub-varsity teams, the second half of district schedule had the Lady Cardinals traveling to both Lamar and Westside.  Beating both rivals on their home floor would make winning sub-varsity championships extremely difficult, especially in an abbreviated season.  

For the district's varsity squads, no one could have anticipated how the revised schedule would set the tone and expectations for a run to a district championship.  Westside would gain an advantage by playing the only two school which could stand in their way of a district crown; Lamar and Bellaire.  Bellaire and Lamar would not face each other only once and it count in the district standings.  In the first volleyball match after the Hurricane Harvey disruption, Lamar promptly handed Westside an emotional 3-1 loss; dealing an psychological blow to the Lady Wolves and lending credibility to a Lady Texans district championship for the first time in over 25 years. A few days later in a five set thriller, Westside beat Bellaire for the first time since 2013.  This turn of events shook coaches and players too the core.  Could the Lamar Texans make run to their first district championship since rally-scoring ushered in the modern era of competitive volleyball?  Would Westside relive their 2013 cinderella season and win a district crown?  Or would the Lady Cardinals regain their swagger and continue their reign as district champions?

One thing was certain, the outcomes of the non-district matches grabbed everyone's attention and shook Cardinal players and coaches to the core.  A new approach was needed.  The Cardinals changed their practice routine and made some competitive attitude adjustments.  The demeanor and tempo improved.  "We had to trust the process more and better utilize the advantages this group of players offered us to win."  said Coach Clarke. 

Following the Westside loss, the next match against Carnegie would count the district standings. "We had to avoid a hold over from the Westside match and come out ready to compete." said Clarke.  Carnegie routinely makes the post-season and Bellaire would need to play better to beat the Rhinos.  The Lady Cardinals promptly went out and swept the Rhinos from Carnegie 3 sets to zero.  "That match gave us some momentum" said Coach Reese. 

And the Lady Cardinals didn't look back.  Following the Carnegie match, the entire Bellaire Volleyball program went on a tear.  Bellaire's Freshmen, JV and Varsity Cardinals pulled off program sweeps against Chávez, Sam Houston, and the Heights.  When Bellaire and Lamar stepped onto the floor, both schools were undefeated.  When they left the court, the Lady Texans had lost every set to Bellaire's freshmen, JV and Varsity squads; another program sweep of the Lamar Texans. A week later, Westside swept Lamar in three sets to end any hope the Texans might have had about playing for a district championship. A few days before the most anticipated show down in District 18-6A since 2013, Bellaire High swept Westbury for their fifth program sweep in the district.. As in prior seasons, the 2017 season would come down to the final match between Bellaire and Westside.  Bellaire has lost the district crown only once in the last 18 years.  But, Westside's win over the Lady Cardinals earlier in the season had the Wolves confident and anticipating another cinderella season.  

The two District 18 powerhouses split the first two sets before the Lady Cardinals turned it on to win 3 sets to 1 and win the Championship.  Not only did the Varsity bring home a district title, the JV squad and Freshmen Chicks went into Wolf's Din at Westside and won district championships.  All three teams finished the 2017 season with the same undefeated mark.

For the fourth consecutive year, your Bellaire High Lady Cardinals are undefeated Varsity, JV and Freshmen District Champions.

2017 Undefeated District Champion:Bellaire HIgh Jr Varsity

2017 Undefeated District Champion: Bellaire High Freshmen