The El Campo Ladybirds lost to the Bellville Brahmanettes on Tuesday night 3-0 in Ricebird Gym despite big games from sophomore Kate Bodungen, senior Georgia Priesmeyer, and junior Ella Jenkins.
Bellville entered the game ranked fifth in the state, and looked every bit a top-5 team in sweeping El Campo 25-14, 25-15, 25-19.
The Ladybirds had no answer for junior middle hitter Sarah Rogers, who showed off her athleticism while scoring several kills during the game. Juniors Mikayla Kaspter and Lexi Higgins and senior Sadie McKay, all returning from All-District honors in 2019, also played well for Bellville.
The Ladybirds started strong in both the first and second sets. El Campo took an 8-7 lead in the first set and tied Bellville 10-10 in the second. But behind Rogers’ aggressive hitting, the Brahmanettes ended the first set with an 18-6 run and closed the second with a 15-5 run to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
Bodungen ferociously racked up kills, Jenkins made a crucial dig and a vicious kill, and junior Heather Farrar had a big block to keep El Campo in the third set.
Ultimately Bellville managed to win the third and final set 25-19, but the effort was enough to leave the team with confidence with a handful of games remaining before the playoffs.
“I couldn’t be prouder. Bellville is the fifth-ranked team in the state and it was a good game,” Ladybirds coach Kelsey Johns said. “I told them, ‘If you’re ready to play, you can go against anyone.’ Seeing how they (played) here, going through the rest of district and into the start of playoffs, we’ll be fine.”
Bodungen finished the game with 14 kills and six digs. Jenkins tallied five kills, a block, and a dig, while Priesmeyer had 19 assists and five digs. Senior libero Mackenzie Matlock contributed a key 10 digs.
Despite the loss, El Campo holds onto the third-place spot in District 24.
They’ll face second-place Sealy Lady Tigers Tuesday on the road. A win over Sealy could force a tie for second-place.
“We’ll look at our film (and) give Sealy a run for their money next week,” Johns said. “What I take away from the (Bellville game) is the energy we played with and our hitting and defense that had us in there at the end.”