From Humble ISD: By Joshua Koch | November 17, 2022
It was a historic year for Humble ISD volleyball teams.
Humble High School volleyball made the playoffs for the first time in 18 seasons, Summer Creek High School won its first-ever District Championship and advanced to the Regional Quarterfinals for the first time in program history.
“This season has brought a lot of pride to our school and community,” Summer Creek coach Sarah Aguilar said. “This group is special and they earned everything they’ve accomplished. Our middle school and high school coaches have worked together to develop these athletes since middle school. I am proud of the volleyball program we have built and excited for the future.”
Kingwood, Kingwood Park and Atascocita High School volleyball teams also all made the playoffs. The 2022 season marked the first time in Humble ISD history that all five volleyball teams made the postseason in the same year.
Aguilar and Humble coach Michelle Funderburk shared the honor of District 21-6A Coach of the Year.
“Feeling very honored for this recognition,” Aguilar said. “I am extremely proud of my team and everything we accomplished this season! Thankful for my assistant coaches, my athletes, and the Summer Creek High School community for their support!”
Funderburk added: “Postseason awards or individual recognition is never on your mind when you begin your journey every August. Everyone, whether it be an athlete or a coach, appreciates any form of validation when it deals with something that requires full commitment and dedication. To receive this recognition from my fellow peers who know this commitment as well, makes receiving this award that much more meaningful.”
The District 21-6A MVP nod went to Summer Creek’s Angelica Medina.
Medina led the Bulldogs to a district title, while leading the team in kills with 256, averaging 2.2 per set. She also chipped in 99 digs and 65 blocks.
Medina’s teammate Kennedy Gustafson was named the District 21-6A Defensive Player of the Year. Gustafson finished her senior campaign with a single-season high of 681 digs and finished with 1,489 career digs.
“Being a left handed right side hitter, Angelica was able to be offensive even on our out-of-system plays,” Aguilar said. “We could set her from any angle or tempo on the court and she was able to produce kills for us. Kennedy was like the backbone of our team. She contributed to almost every play by either passing or setting the ball up. Her connection with Angelica played a significant role in Angelica staying offensive in those out-of-system plays. Being a three year varsity starter and one of our captains, Kennedy had developed the experience and confidence to lead our team to a winning season.”
The District 21-6A Co-Offensive Players of the Year were Humble’s Trabrece Marbley and Atasocita’s Layla Smith, who signed with Boise State on November 9. Smith finished with 235 kills, 96 digs and 46 blocks for the year.
“I thought Layla really stepped up as a senior in a new position this season,” Atascocita coach Madeline Odom said. “It’s not easy to move positions, let alone a middle to an outside, and she really led her team and ultimately named herself offensive player of the year. Layla is a competitor and I loved how she battled all season, even if it was outside of her comfort zone. She will do great things at Boise State moving forward and I couldn’t be more excited for her future.”
Marbley in her first varsity season accounted for 309 kills, 212 digs and 71 aces for the Wildcats.
“Trabrece, while not only being a player who is talented, she has many intangible qualities that are rare with today’s athletes,” Funderburk said. “She not only loves the game, she loves to compete. Her positive attitude she brings to the court combined with caring about her teammates makes her a natural leader. Her growth as a player most importantly comes from her willingness to be coached and desire to improve daily.”
Kingwood’s Hannah Smith was voted by the coaches as the District 21-6A Setter of the Year. Smith finished with 580 assists, 352 digs, 196 kills and 69 aces for her senior campaign.
"I have seen Hannah mature on and off the court these last few years,” Kingwood coach Christie Mewis said. “She was an excellent leader to all in the program. Hannah was a hard worker that never took a minute off in practice or a game. She was a true all around player and will be missed next year. It has truly been my pleasure to have had the opportunity to coach this young lady for the past four years."
Finally, Atascocita’s Rheanna Deen-Jackson was named the District 21-6A Newcomer of the Year after recording 178 kills, 122 blocks and 19 aces for the season.
“Rheanna has been such a blessing to our team and I’m so thankful we get her another year in our program,” Odom said. “She came in and immediately bonded with the girls and stepped in as our starting middle and earned newcomer of the year for the district. She has a massive block, incredible hang time, and she’s an overall smart player.
“She’s exceeded what I could’ve asked for this season and I’m excited to see how much she can grow in the offseason and the impact she will have for us next season as well.”
To see the full article, including a full list of players, click here: ow.ly/Uyr650LJViq