Dripping Springs volleyball (29-10) remained undefeated in district play (3-0) after a dominant performance in last week’s home matchup where the Tigers swept LBJ Austin (10-17) in three straight sets 25-10, 25-7, 25-16.
“We have lofty expectations about how we perform,” Dripping Springs head coach Michael Kane said. “We set goals for as far as mentally challenging them and staying engaged. When we are clicking we are really scary good. I felt like in the first two sets we played a really high level and stayed focused and stayed engaged.”
The Tigers’ outside hitting was a force to be reckoned with as the Jaguars struggled to block or return any spikes that came their way. Through three sets Dripping Springs accumulated 38 total kills compared to LBJ’s 11. Sophomore Annabelle Crowder led the Tigers with nine total kills, with senior Avery Kalsu and sophomore Madi Lund having seven kills each.
With Dripping Springs’ attack rolling, Kalsu and senior Sarah Nading were instrumental players in the victory as they consistently set up teammates with opportunities to strike against LBJ. Kalsu had a team high 22 assists, and Nading was second with 13 assists of her own.
“Sometimes we take for granted how strong Avery Kalsu is as a setter, and Sarah Nading,” Kane said. “Those two kids are obviously two division-one setters, and it’s easy to sit back and forget how talented those two kids are. They make the engine roll.”
In addition to orchestrating the Tigers’ attack, Nading and Kalsu also contributed in other areas on the court. Nading had four aces on the night, while Kalsu had six digs.
Both Kane and Kalsu credited the teams’ elite play on the court to their preparation in practice and attention to detail.
“Our practices have been very focused and every practice we come in with a purpose,” Kalsu said. “Our goal is to get back to that state tournament. So, we come in and we know that our team has so much depth, there is so much talent that six-on-six there are 12 really good girls and it’s some of the best competition that we face. I feel like we come into practice with a let’s get this done mindset.”
The sweep of the LBJ marks the Tigers’ eighth straight win, including 24 straight sets. A winning streak is nothing new to Kane and the Dripping Springs program, and staying mentally tough and focused will keep their unprecedented district win streak alive moving forward.
“We are on an unnatural run these last eight years, you know quite honestly,” Kane said. “I think we are on like 99-2 or 98-2 in the last eight years in district play. I think we’ve probably won 80 straight district matches. It’s a ridiculous streak, but I think it’s because the kids understand that there is an expectation here and again we hold each other accountable for the little details.”
Dripping Springs will have back-to-back district road games against Reagan and Travis before returning home on Friday, Oct. 11, to face Crockett at 6:30 p.m