WAXAHACHIE — Waxahachie High School athletics department held its annual volleyball banquet Monday night at the Waxahachie Civic Center, honoring its freshmen, junior varsity and varsity volleyball teams.
The 2016 season was a historic season for Waxahachie's varsity team.
"We were among several teams — Prosper, Wakeland, Lovejoy, Highland Park and Frisco — in the area that returned a lot of talented players that also had kids with a lot of playoff experience," said Sandy Faussett, the head WHS volleyball coach. "We had very high expectations going into the postseason and knew that we would have to remain healthy, play our best volleyball of the season and be a little bit lucky to get out of this region. "Those things didn’t happen for us and we lost to an equally talented and experienced team.
Aside from helping Faussett reach her illustrious 700th win and led by captains Kendyll Armstrong, Shelby Martin, Madelyn Ward and Hannah Ramirez, the (42-9) Lady Indians claimed the first undefeated (14-0) district record in more than a decade. They also claimed bi-district, area and regional quarterfinal and semifinal championships and Ramirez, Audrey Nalls and Taylor Stoops broke Waxahachie High School serve receptions, kills, assists and aces records.
"We did have the goal of reaching the state tournament but in no way did this team underachieve," Faussett continued. "I’m very proud of everything this team accomplished and couldn’t be more proud of them. I don’t want to diminish the hard work and dedication it takes to achieve what this team accomplished. Just because we've been successful the past eight years doesn’t make it any less special or significant than the first team that accomplished it in 2008."
Nalls and Stoops earned equal shares of the Lady Indians' Offensive Player of Year award and Nalls and Ramirez were voted the Defensive Player of the Year. Ramirez won the Fighting Heart Award and Martin won the Indian Pride Award.
The junior varsity team finished their season 29-4 overall and 14-0 in district play, earning the Midlothian Heritage Varsity Tournament Championship, the Mansfield Legacy Tournament Championship and the District 10-5A District Championship.
While Whitney Volentine and Anna Rodgers earned Indian Pride awards for their play for JV Head Coach Erika Weber the JV team, Fayth Hunt and Courtney Crownover were selected as the team's Fighting Heart awardees. Macie Milholen was named the Most Improved Lady Indian.
Under the guidance of Freshmen Head Coach Dana Scott, Hallie Becerra, Kaylee Rutenbar and Madison Babers, earned team awards and helped the team reach one of its best seasons in recent memory.
Waxahachie's freshmen Lady Indians, which were honored for their play during the season, finished the season 27-3 overall. The Lady Indians also won the Mansfield Timberview Tournament and Waxahachie Tournament Championships, the silver bracket of the Mansfield Summit JV Championship and completed the district championship sweep with a 13-1 record.
"We have a lot of great girls on this team," Scott said. "Madison went from not starting on the freshman team to being moved up to JV by the end of the season by working hard every day. It paid off for her. Kaylee deserved her award because she is a fighter on the court that never gives up and plays hard both in practice and games and Hallie is a kid who's a great teammate and always has a positive attitude. This was a very successful season for the freshman team. We won the Silver bracket of the Summit JV tournament when we were the only freshman team in the tournament.
"That's a huge accomplishment for these kids, as well as o finishing the season as district champions. You can win a lot of games with high-character kids like that."
Becerra won the freshmen Indian Pride award, Rutenbar won Fighting Heart recognition and Madison Babers was voted the most improved player. The Lady Indians also recognized the Academic All-District team during the annual banquet.
Marcus S. Marion can be reached at (469) 517-1456. Follow him on Twitter @MarcusMarionWNI.