PROSPER — A week after winning the 5A State Championship, the Prosper High School volleyball team has added another accolade to their season. With all the bragging rights of winning a state title, the team can now add “Nationally-Ranked” to their name. The team has been named as one of the top-10 teams in the nation, according to USA Today Sports American Volleyball Coaches Association Super 25 volleyball rankings.
Head coach Erin Kauffman said she is still numb from the incredible season, but it is starting to settle in.
“To beat the teams that we had to beat, in succession, throughout playoffs is just incredible,” she said. “If you think about it, we had to go through some top 10 ranked teams in Highland Park, Reedy, Red Oak, Lovejoy, Tuloso Midway and then finally Rouse. How awesome.”
Prosper, who was not previously ranked in the Top-25 prior to their state championship win, was the number two team in Texas for the majority of the 2017 season. Their victory over number one team Leader Rouse moved them into the 10th spot to close out the Top-10.
The program has never been ranked in the Top-10, though Kauffman said they have been in the top 100 since she has been head coach.
Also on the list is 6A Texas State Champions Hebron Lewisville, who moved up from the number eight spot to number four. Rounding out the Top-25 for Texas are Seven Lakes (Katy) at 24 and The Woodlands at 25.
Prosper ended their fairy tale season with an overall record of 46-6-0. They were undefeated in District 14-5A, and swept five of the seven teams they played in the post-season. 36 of their total 46 wins were sweeps, and they were 1-1 in matches that went to five sets (2-3 loss to Southlake Carroll, 3-2 win against Leander Rouse).
Offensively, the team was a powerhouse at the net. The Lady Eagles averaged 13.4 kills per set (1670 total kills in 125 sets played), with a hitting percentage of .314. They had 308 total service aces out of 2967 total serves. A huge part of that offense came from the outside hitters — Haley Killinger and Ciera Hecht, who combined for 841 of the teams kills (Killinger 510, Hecht 331). Another vital part of the offense came from Hope Gramly (255) and Taryn Weber (198).
Madi Whitmire was the Prosper setter for the year, and accounted for 1463 of the team’s total 1600 assists. She also had a team-leading 56 total aces.
The Lady Eagles were just a strong defensively. Led by Kayla Martin and Macy Walterschied for the majority of the season, the Prosper back row managed 2244 digs this year, averaging 18 per set and almost 50 (49.9) per match. They were complimented by their blocking at the net, as they recorded 318 blocks this season. Gramly set a school record for most blocks in a single season — 120.
The team’s State Championship was the first time a girl’s program at Prosper High School has done so. For Kauffman, it was a great way to end their run in the 5A division, as they will be moving up in the rankings next year.
“The biggest difference will be the level of competition on a consistent basis. The top tier of 5A teams can compete with the top tier 6A teams, but the biggest difference for our girls will be the district competition,” Kauffman said. “We will haVe to bring our A-game every Tuesday and Friday in order to get out of the district. This will be a change but the girls are ready for that. I am excited!”