With two state-ranked teams inside their district, coaches still saw a lot from the third-place El Campo Ladybirds throughout the season, awarding them with five all-district selections.
Senior libero Mackenzie Matlock took home the Ladybirds’ highest honor and was recognized as the district defensive MVP.
Matlock on the back row played a key role in keeping the ball in play picking up digs off kill attempts, giving the offense chances to score.
“People don’t understand, the kills are awesome, but how that pass starts that offense is everything,” coach Kelsey Johns said. “Mackenzie started every single offense pass that led to us getting kills and digs.”
Matlock last season was on the all-district second-team.
Sophomore outside hitter Kate Bodungen earned first-team all-district. Bodungen was the district Newcomer of The Year in 2019. The sophomore’s powerful right arm pounded kills through the opposing team’s defenses.
“Kate’s kills stood out for her, but she also had a lot of digs and serves,” Johns said. “Once Kate was more comfortable in the jump float (serve), she was unstoppable.”
Juniors Alyssa Mendez and Ella Jenkins along with senior Georgia Priesmeyer earned all-district second-team honors.
In her first-year on varsity Mendez played big at the top of the net picking up kills and blocks for the Ladybirds. Jenkins, in the second round of district play, was moved to outside hitter. Once there she was a dynamic-duo picking up kills in bunches on the opposite side of Bodungen. Priesmeyer was a steady-hand dishing out passes and setting up hitters throughout the season. She also picked up tips when the other team wasn’t ready.
Rounding out the Ladybirds’ awards were junior Carli Bullard, senior Madisyn Matlock and junior Heather Farrar who all earned district honorable mentions.
On top of the athletic achievements the Ladybirds made this year, every member of the team received an academic all-district: Ella Rod, Abbie Stehling, Kamryn Till, Brianna Jensen, Mendez, Farrar, Bullard, Jenkins, Priesmeyer, Bodungen and the Matlock sisters.
“It’s very nice to have smart volleyball players and not worry about (grades),” Johns said. “These girls in study hall took it seriously to prepare themselves because they knew their job after school was volleyball. During the day it was school.”
Priesmeyer also received second-team all-academic all-state honors and Mackenzie Matlock was an honorable mention.
The Ladybirds will bring back a lot of talent next season with only three players graduating from a team that made it to the second rounf of the playoffs.
“With only losing a few players, El Campo volleyball will do great next year,” Johns said. “(The) offseason will give me time to make sure everyone is on the same page as what to expect for next year, and to enhance their skills before August 2021 comes around.”