Rouse volleyball keeping focused in playoffs

Lady Raiders went undefeated and won District 19-5A


Rouse volleyball team hasn’t lost a match in nearly three months and have been atop the state rankings for most of the year. 


The Lady Raiders went undefeated, won the district title and advanced to the second round of the playoffs after sweeping Magnolia West (25-10, 25-15, 25-16) on Monday. 


But there still isn't a time this season that has made the team stop and have an ‘aha moment.’


“We’re ranked and we’re high in the polls, but we won’t really care about it until we’re standing there and we have that No. 1 next to our name," senior élan McCall said. “Every game we’ve played up to now, we have the same intensity that we’re going to get the gold medal." 


Rouse’s last loss was to San Antonio Reagan, the No. 1 team in Class 6A, at the Frauline tournament on Oct. 19. Since then, the Lady Raiders have dropped just two sets and won 29 straight matches. 


“We all work really hard putting in work in mentally,” senior Maddie Sheehan said. “We have a creed that we say before every game and we focus really hard on the mental side of the game.”


A season ago, Sheehan was third on the team with 263 kills. This year, she moved form right side hitter to setter and has seen that number drop by more than 100. In assists, however, she has more than 1,000 this season compared to just two last year. 


“It’s been hard but good,” Sheehan said. “Everyone on the team has been good with helping me switch. They’ve been very encouraging.”


Rouse and Cedar Park met in the regional finals in Houston last November with a trip to the state tournament on the line. The Lady Raiders lost, but they still remember the match and use it as motivation. 


The 10 seniors on the team especially want to do one better than last year and get past the regional final. But next up is College Station in the area round on Thursday at 7 p.m. at Giddings. 


“The seniors work together well and we’ve been together for four years,” McCall said. “There’s not a senior that has just popped up. The whole team is cohesive and we know how to work with each other.”