Big 7 volleyball players and coaches honored

The three districts in which volleyball teams from the Mission, Sharyland and La Joya school districts, the Big 7, are members of have all released their 2020 All-District selections. And the fact that more than their share of Big 7 players have been honored, is a testament to the successful seasons several of those teams had.

With Juarez-Lincoln High School not fielding a volleyball team this year, due to the late start caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Big 7 could’ve been renamed the “Slightly Smaller 6” when it came to volleyball. Those six being the Mission High Lady Eagles, the Mission Veterans Lady Patriots, the Sharyland High Lady Rattlers, the Sharyland Pioneer Lady Diamondbacks, the La Joya Lady Coyotes and the Palmview Lady Lobos. Of those six teams, two claimed district championships and two others qualified for the playoffs.

Six members of the Mission Veterans Lady Patriots volleyball team received outstanding position, outstanding newcomer or 1st team All-District honors. Progress Times photo by Luciano Guerra.

Here are the All-District selections in the three districts involving the Slightly Smaller 6 teams: 

District 31-5A
The Sharyland Pioneer Lady Diamondbacks had two players that were honored by being named outstanding in the district at their respective positions. Natalie Reyes (junior) was named 31-5A’s Outstanding Setter and Larelai Hill (junior) was named 31-5A’s Co-Outstanding Blocker. Reyes played in 48 sets and had 335 assists and 1023 ball handling attempts. Hill played in 44 sets and led the Lady Diamondbacks in kills with 128 and in attack attempts with 289.

Pioneer also had two players named 1st Team All-District. They were defensive specialist Jorieliss Caraballo (senior) and outside hitter Daisy Monie (senior).

The Sharyland Lady Rattlers had two players named 2nd Team All-District. They were setter Ana Paola Cerda (senior) and libero Ximena Chapa (senior).

The Lady Diamondbacks and the Lady Rattlers each had one player named 31-5A Honorable Mention. They were Pioneer’s defensive specialist and libero Lizzy Fina (junior) and Sharyland’s Roxana Garcia (junior).

The Lady Diamondbacks finished the season in third place with a 9-5 district record. The Lady Rattlers finished in fifth place with a 7-7 district record. 

District 30-5A
The Mission Veterans Lady Patriots had four players that were honored by being named outstanding in the district either at their respective positions or as a newcomer. Freshman defensive specialist, setter and libero Chloe Rosillo was named Newcomer of the Year, sophomore outside hitter Rylie Barnett was named Outstanding Hitter, sophomore setter Evelyn Vela was named Co-Outstanding Setter and sophomore middle blocker Carla Guerrero was named Co-Outstanding Blocker. Rosillo played in 50 sets and led the Lady Patriots in digs with 359. Barnett played in 45 sets and led the Lady Patriots in kills with 236. Vela played in 50 sets and led the Lady Patriots in assists with 378 and in ball handling attempts with 949. Guerrero played in 50 sets and led the Lady Patriots in solo blocks with 46 and total blocks with 66.

The Palmview Lady Lobos had one player that was honored by being named outstanding in the district in her position. Libero and defensive specialist Aaliyah Garcia (junior) was named the district’s Co-Outstanding Defensive Specialist. Garcia played in 44 sets and led the Lady Lobos in digs with 117 and in serves received with 247.

The Lady Patriots and the Lady Lobos each had two players named 1st Team All-District. The Lady Lobos’ outside hitter and defensive specialist Daisy Rodriguez (senior) and outside hitter Alejandra Hernandez (senior) both received this honor as did the Lady Patriots’ libero and outside hitter Jacqueline Nino (sophomore) and outside hitter and defensive specialist Michaela Perez (sophomore).

The Lady Patriots had one player named 2nd Team All-District while the Lady Lobos had two. Mission Veterans’ middle blocker Karen Alanis (junior) and Palmview’s middle hitter Crystal Perez (senior) and middle hitter Samantha Ramirez (junior) were also named.

The Lady Lobos had three players named 30-5A Honorable Mention while the Lady Patriots had two. They were middle blocker and defensive specialist Julissa Lopez (sophomore), outside hitter and defensive specialist Arianna Alaniz (freshman) and opposite hitter and setter Lily Diaz (senior) for the Lady Lobos and middle blocker Kayla Mendoza (junior) and defensive specialist and setter Adamari Sepulveda (junior) for the Lady Patriots.

In addition to the players that received honors, the Lady Patriots’ head coach, Diana Lerma, was named 30-5A Coach of the Year.

The Lady Patriots took the district championship with a 10-0 record while the Lady Lobos were the district runner-ups with a 6-4 record. 

District 31-6A
The 2020 Mission High Lady Eagles not only won their first district championship in 29 years but they had three players honored by being named outstanding in the district at their respective positions. Makayla Castillo (sophomore) was named Co-Outstanding Outside Hitter, Jasmine Gomez (senior) was named Co-Outstanding Libero and Mayella Cantu (senior) was named Outstanding Blocker.

For the Lady Eagles, Ashley Perez (senior) was named 1st Team All-District and Alinah Hernandez (junior) was named 2nd Team All-District. For the La Joya Lady Coyotes, libero Stefanie Solis (senior) was named 1st Team All-District and middle blocker Jade Garcia (junior) was named 2nd Team All-District.

All-District Honorable Mentions went to the Lady Eagles’ Nancy Jacobo (senior), Francheska Garza (senior), Bailey Hernandez (junior), Maria Abrego (junior) and Madison Garcia (sophomore) and to the Lady Coyotes’ outside hitter Michelle Garcia (junior), setter Samantha Garcia (senior) and defensive specialist Glenda Villagran (freshman).

The Lady Eagles’ head coach, Edna Clemons, was named the District 31-6A Coach of the Year. This is the first time in her 11 year career that she has received this honor.

Clemons shared what being so-named means to her when she said, “It’s a great honor because I’ve coached with some of these coaches for several years now and they’re great colleagues,” Clemons said. “To be given this honor is great. It’s still all kind of a dream to me right now because it hasn’t hit me all the way through but I do appreciate the honor greatly.”

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