HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL

Rouse sweeps Bastrop to move on to area round

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Rouse rolled past Bastrop in the first round of the volleyball playoffs on Monday night to move on to the area round. 

After finishing without a loss in District 17-5A, the Raiders continued their strong play with a dominant 3-0 (25-11, 25-15, 25-12) sweep of the Bears at the Delco Activity Center in the bi-district round. 

“It’s a good place to be right now,” Rouse head coach Jacob Thompson said. “We’re getting there. We’re getting back to August form. It’s going in the right direction. You’ve got to be good in November.”

Freshman Karley Black finished with a team-high eight kills on nine attempts. Junior Emery Reid had six kills, while Kayla Lopez and Madison Butler each had four and Grayson Schirpik and Kara Erfurth had three apiece. 

Erfurth also led the team with a pair of blocks and 25 assists. Senior Reilly Heinrich had 16 digs while Schirpik added 12. 

Rouse jumped out to a lead very early in the first set, but Bastrop was quick to pull it back. The Raiders pushed the lead to 14-6 and continued to 21-10, forcing the Bears to call a timeout and slow the momentum. 

The teams traded points early in the second set, and it was tied 11-11 before Rouse won four straight points and Bastrop called a timeout. 

After the timeout, the Raiders won 10 of 11 points and never looked back. 

“We had some moments in set two where we let our guard down a little bit,” Thompson said. “There was a little bit of a lull, and we lost a little focus. We’ve passed the ball well over the last month. We’ve got to do a few things better (going forward), and they knew it immediately as well.”

Rouse didn’t even let Bastrop get close in the final set, ballooning the lead to 14-6 and never letting the Bears get close to a comeback. 

This round of the playoffs is nothing new to the Raiders, who have advanced to at least the fourth round of the playoffs three years in a row, and made it to the state championship when the current group of seniors were freshmen. 

But this season about to get tougher. 

Rouse will face off with either Brenham or defending state champion Kingwood Park in the next round later this week. 

“The region is tough,” Thompson said. “We’ve just got to play good, clean volleyball.”

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