By Bill McCaughey
For The Fort Bend Star
The Dulles Vikings swept the Travis Tigers last Tuesday in a district volleyball match.
The Vikings won by scores of 25-20, 26-24, and 25-20. Travis played a gritty match, always staying within a few points during each set, but never able to get a lead.
“Our team is really young and we have been up and down and not found our rhythm yet. We have moments of greatness and just need to work on being more consistent,” Travis Coach Nicole Hitt said.
Chandler Marshall led Dulles with 20 kills, 1 block, 18 digs and a 100 percent serving percentage on 15 serves.
Bria Merchant had 9 kills, 11 digs and a 100 percent serving percentage on 11 serves, while Trinity Johnson had 4 aces and a 95 percent serving percentage on 22 serves, and Joyce Xionx had 36 assists.
“Chandler and Bria are an integral part of both our offense and defense this year,” Dulles Coach Rheanna Stahl said. “We have put a lot of pressure on them this year to carry us through the season.”
“Chandler is amazing. When she hits the ball, the whole gym hears it. She is very athletic and stays very composed,” Coach Stahl said. “She worked very hard over the summer and she is playing like a senior should right now.”
Marshall will be studying sports medicine and playing volleyball at Southern Mississippi next year. “I really liked the coach and the campus,” Marshall said. “I just liked the whole atmosphere.”
“My favorite part of Bria is her defense. She is a phenomenal defensive player. She will fly out of nowhere and save a ball that everyone thinks is a point for the other team,” Coach Stahl said.
Merchant, a junior, hopes to continue playing after high school but hasn’t committed to any school yet. She plans to study psychology and criminology.
“Trinity is versatile and plays wherever we need her to play. She has a unique serve and scores a lot of points,” Coach Stahl said. “Joyce Xionx is our only setter. She is doing a lot of good things so far.”
For Travis, Destiny Jones had 7 kills, and Audrey Phillips had 5 kills. Tori Eavenson had 5 digs and an 89 percent serving percentage on 13 serves.
Jones, who just started playing volleyball as a freshman, is a hitter. “When a defensive player is a little slow getting to a spot, I know I can get a great hit and I get up and swing,” Jones said. Jones is committed to West Texas A&M University and intends to study accounting. “The team looks to Jones for leadership on the court,” Coach Hitt said.
“Audrey Phillips is a sophomore and has lead us in kills in a few games,” Coach Hitt said.
“Tori Eavenson is our sophomore libero and has really impressed me this season stepping into the libero role,” Coach Hitt said. Before taking up volleyball, Eavenson was a competitive skeet shooter and still finds time to go hunting with her family. While just a sophomore, Eavenson has drawn the interest of several colleges and recently visited Lamar University. “I would like to study nursing and be a military nurse,” Eavenson said.
District play continues until the end of October.
@FtBendAthletics Athlete of the Week
The Travis High School Scream Team is this week’s @FtBendAthletics Athlete of the Week. The Scream Team is the Travis student cheering section and it became an official school organization three years ago. “The purpose of the Scream Team is to bring enthusiasm, positive spirit to the crowd and just have a good time,” Co-Sponsor Becky Martinez said. Martinez is Travis’ college and career readiness advisor. The team supports all sports and has grown from 20 members last year to 150 this year. There is a small fee to join and it is used to offset some expenses such as t-shirts and megaphones. Team members also sign a contract that they will uphold UIL rules and not cause any problems at events.
“We do have practices now and then. Some practices are more beneficial than others, but yes we absolutely have practices and the kids lead the practices,” Martinez said.
Seniors Sarah Gupton and Carter Chambers act as unofficial team leaders. “We work with the cheerleaders on various cheers and they love cheering in front us,” Gupton said. She plans to attend the University of Houston and be a teacher.
“We create some new cheers but we rely on a few old ones that everyone knows,” Chambers said. “We are all-inclusive and work to get our freshmen involved so the team will continue on.” Chambers plans to study engineering at Texas, Texas A&M or Baylor.