Thanks Trojans! A Memorable 2016 Season!
This is a little long, but please read to the end, to hear about our playoff season, superlatives, college signees, district awards and season-ending banquet!
Second Place in District, Playoffs!
The Trojan Varsity Volleyball team turned in a memorable season in their debut in District 14-6A, with an 8-2 district record, and finishing 26-20 overall, playing a tough pre-district schedule against some of the best teams in the area. This turned out to be their best district finish in 13 years, and earned them a trip to the playoffs.
The varsity started their season off with three multi-day tournaments in quick succession, toiling on the court while their classmates were still enjoying the last few weeks of summer break. They started the season off with a bang, by winning the Silver Bracket at the AISD tournament.
Somehow we angered the Frauleins in New Braunfels and were put through a bit of a sausage maker at FrauleinFest in New Braunfels, featuring a tough field of state-ranked teams with deep playoff experience, but the girls had a really good time staying together in a rented house, bonding, and eating Coach Byers’ famous breakfast spread
The team quickly rebounded the following week with a solid showing at the Volleypalooza tournament in Leander, where they put a scare into state-ranked New Braunfels, and finished with a straight-set win over A&M Consolidated.
From there, the team launched into their pre-district schedule, testing themselves against former district rivals, including Westlake and Lake Travis. After the match against the Chapparals, the team went on a five-match tear to close out their non-district schedule and kick off district play, including a scintillating five-set win over St. Michael’s, after falling behind 2 sets to none. In their 8 district wins, the Trojans dropped exactly one set.
Their fine season swept them into the playoffs, the goal of every high school athlete. And even though the season ended before the state tournament, it was a great way to cap off a signature season of Anderson Trojan volleyball.
After a slow start, the undermanned JV team, known far and wide as the Notorious Nine, went on THREE four-match winning streaks during the season, took second place at the Cedar Creek JV tournament, and finished second in district with a 7-3 record.
The Freshman A team finished with a 6-4 district record (15-10 overall), adjusting to playing a LOT more volleyball than they played as 8th graders. The team enjoyed a six-match winning streak during the season and took First Place in the Cedar Creek Freshman Tournament.
The Freshman B team had a 6-2 record and probably would have matched the varsity’s 8-2 record if district opponent Manor had fielded a B team this season. They had the distinction of being the only AHS team to beat Bowie this season…not once, but TWICE.
Where would the coaches and players be without their tireless team managers? Tristan, Andrea, Lance and Beck contributed countless practice hours, bus ride comedy relief, astute line-judging, and in Lance’s case, unrivaled passion and dance moves.
University of Central Florida-bound Senior Kristina Fisher led the team with an eye-popping 489 kills, followed by fellow Senior Rachel Snead, with 260. Sophomore Ellie Goodman chipped in 127 to lead 2017 returners.
Meanwhile, the job of stopping the other team’s kill attempts fell to stalwart middle blockers Morgan “Mo Money” Giles and fellow Junior Riley Whitford, who claimed 66 and 60 blocks, respectively. Senior Grace Ann Hornfischer went on a second-half defensive roll, contributing 32 more blocks.
Also on defense, Snead led the team in digs, with a monumental 600, or 13.3 per match. Demonstrating her all-around game, Fisher was second with 372, with Western State Colorado-bound Senior Bonnie Brode right behind her at 366. Brode led the team with 14.1 serve-receives per match, followed by Snead at 13.5, and Fisher with 10.4
Senior Ilisha D’Souza led the team in serve attempts (by a mile) with 575, and also in serve percentage, with a sterling 93.6% success rate. Snead was called on to serve 465 times, and was nearly as precise, at 93.1%. Giles was third in serve attempts (372), and also over 90%.
Running the offense were setters D’Souza (636 assists) and Junior Joy Nunez (455), with sophomore Claire Olivieri turning in a promising 111 assists of her own.
Senior Journee Nobles contributed a number of key kills, including at least two set-winners, while fellow Senior Sarena Webster shined all over the court, with more than 50 kills of her own, and finishing among the leaders in serve-receive, and contributing 150 digs. Junior Sophia Condon provided key versatility as well, attacking with gusto, providing stalwart defense in the back row, and notching more than a dozen aces with her wicked serve.
Player (and Coach!) Awards
For the second year in a row, Seniors Kristina Fisher and Rachel Snead shared the Most Valuable Player award, with Snead also securing the Best Defense Award, and Fisher taking home the Best Offense award (in the least suspenseful award ever presented, right?) Fellow Seniors Ilisha D’Souza and Grace Ann Hornfischer earned the prestigious Trojan Heart Award. Unfortunately for next year’s team, all appear to be on track to graduate, and move on to college, so there will be big shoes to fill. No, seriously, look at those shoes. Coach would never let an underclassman risk her ankles in those heels…
The awards didn’t stop there. On the heels of their fine season, many of our players were voted on to All District teams by the other coaches in the district, and our own Coach Shalanda Byers was voted Coach of the Year!
All District, Second Team:
Grace Ann Hornfischer, Senior
Joy Nunez, Junior*
Ellie Goodman, Sophomore*
All District, Honorable Mention:
Sarena Webster, Senior
Riley Whitford, Junior*
District MVP: Kristina Fisher (Anderson’s first District MVP!)
District Defensive Player of the Year: Rachel Snead
District Coach of the Year: Shalanda Byers
*2017 returning players
Night of Glamour, the End-of-Season Banquet
A great season needs a great night to but a bow on things, and that’s just what we had, thanks to our hard-working banquet volunteers. When you arrived, Carrie Schnoor had already been there all day, decorating the room for us, with help from Sharon Hornfischer and Narda Fisher. The work they did that night was merely dotting the “i’s” on weeks of planning and organizing that they shared with Stacey Thompson, Kelli Whitford, Coach Byers, and others.
And that season highlight video? The one that made you laugh and cry? The one that made you sad that this season is over, but excited for next season? That was the product of countless hours of filming, interviewing and editing, a labor of love from our Booster Club President Narda Fisher, and her husband Keith Fisher. The Anderson volleyball community will mess THEM just as much as they miss Kristina!
National Signing Day
Anderson High School hosted a National Signing Day event for outgoing seniors Kristina Fischer & Bonnie Brode on Wednesday, November 9th. Flanking Coach Byers, and surrounded by family, athletic department officials and adoring teammates, Fisher signed to play at the University of Central Florida, and Brode signed to play at Western State Colorado University.