The St. Thomas More Lady Cougars volleyball program entered this season having won 21 consecutive district championships.
Despite the loss of several key players from last year’s state runner-up team, the Lady Cougars have extended that streak to 22 as they are currently a perfect 7-0 in Division II District 2 and 25-9 overall.
“It definitely feels good to win district again,” Lady Cougars head coach Jessica Burke said. “I’m really proud of the girls, especially because up to this point we are undefeated.”
In fact, since the arrival of Burke, the Lady Cougars have not lost a district match.
“Our success this year hasn’t surprised me,” Burke said. “I know that it has surprised others, but it hasn’t surprised me. I know how hard our girls work and I know how coachable they are. These girls put forth a lot of hard work and effort to get better every day.”
Prior to the start of the season, Burke admits her only expectations were for the Lady Cougars to get better on a daily basis.
“My expectations for us as a team were to get better every time we played,” Burke said. “Improvement was a big goal for us.”
According to Burke, the Lady Cougars’ ability to excel at the little things has proven to be instrumental in their success this season.
“Our biggest reasons for our success this season has been our passing ability and our ability to play defense,” Burke said. “The ability of our middles to put the ball away has been huge. We don’t have a 6-3 player to put the ball down for us, so we have to rely more on our team as a whole.”
Besides the stellar play of Jaime Landry, the Lady Cougars have really benefited by the emergence of junior Kayla McCollum. McCollum has established herself as an enforcer in the middle for the Lady Cougars this season.
“Kayla has really helped our defense this year,” Burke said. “She is a tremendous blocker and she has quietly done everything I’ve asked her to do.”
Follow assistant sports editor Eric Narcisse on Twitter @tdanarcisse.