By Wade Linville –
A successful 2017 volleyball campaign has reached an end for the Fayetteville-Perry Lady Rockets. It was a season in which the Lady Rockets lose nine of their first 11 matches during the first half of the season, but turned things around to win eight of their final 11 matches to finish with an overall record of 10-12. They would finish their regular season as the runner-up in Southern Hills Athletic Conference Division II Standings with a 7-5 record in conference play behind this year’s SHAC champion Peebles Lady Indians who finished with a 10-2 conference record.
“After starting the season with a few non-league losses, we regrouped and focused on our goals for the season,” said Fayetteville-Perry head volleyball coach Sharon Sheets.
The Lady Rockets capped off their regular season by topping the Whiteoak Lady Wildcats in a league match on the road, Oct. 12.
The Lady Rockets kicked off post season tournament play by cruising to a 3-0 match victory over James Gamble Montessori in the Southwest District Division IV Sectional Finals at Mariemont High School on Oct. 21.
“Great first round win for us against Gamble,” said Sheets, as her team prepared for the sectional finals bout against Cincinnati. “(The) girls played with high intensity and they stay focused with our game plan throughout the match.”
“We are playing very well together at this time which is a wonderful thing since we are trying to capture a sectional championship. We are so excited as a team and school to be playing in another sectional final match.”
The Lady Rockets’ season would end on Oct. 25 as they suffered a 3-1 match loss to Cincinnati Christian in the sectional finals at Mariemont.
Looking back on the Lady Rockets’ 2017 volleyball campaign, it was a season in which success was measured in progress. Through hard work, dedication, and the leadership of some outstanding seniors the Lady Rockets were able to make steady strides toward improvement to finish their season as one of the top two teams in the SHAC small school division and a sectional tournament semifinalist. Not too shabby for a team that started out their season with a 2-9 record.
It was a season that saw junior setter Alisa Stahl reach the 1,000 career assists milestone, racking up a total of 472 assists this season alone. Stahl, along with senior teammates Haley Moore and Faith Stegbauer, have all been named to the All-SHAC Volleyball Team this season.
Wednesday’s sectional loss marked the end of high school volleyball careers for six Fayetteville-Perry seniors who will be greatly missed next season – Haley Moore, Gabby Woods, Sarah Ward, Faith Stegbauer, Lexi Estes, and Josie Rummel. But with a skilled crew of experienced players on the return for next season and a mix of some young talent, the future certainly looks bright for the Fayetteville-Perry High School varsity volleyball program.