AUSTIN, TX, November 14, 2016—St. Michael’s Catholic Academy women’s Varsity Volleyball team won the TAPPS 5A State Volleyball Championship at Brownwood Coliseum in Brownwood, TX, on November 12, edging out San Antonio Holy Cross in five sets.
Senior and captain Tori Pylypec commented on the win. “We were definitely adjusting our defense and focusing on our side, controlling the ball, finding the open spots, but at the end of the day, we were really looking to each other when we needed support. We played our hearts out.”
Pylypec signed a letter of intent to play volleyball next year for Wake Forest University, a volleyball Division I school.
Commenting on the team’s overall performance, player Melissa Ross said, “We went to a lot of fifth sets this season, and I think that was the precursor to the State championship game, pushing our limits.” She added, “It was emotional for me—being a senior and getting to serve the last serve of the game. Right before I made that serve, I looked over at Coach Silvernail and could feel the win coming.”
“I am very proud of the way our young ladies fought through adversity during the second half of their season and during each of their competitions at the State Championship tournament,” said Mike Kipp, Director of Athletics at St. Michael’s.
The Volleyball State championship is St. Michael’s third State win so far this year. Men’s and Women’s Cross Country teams also won TAPPS 5A State championships.
Senior Melissa Ross spoke of the volleyball team’s legacy. “The legacy we’re leaving is that our program is championship level, especially under coach Silvernail.”
St. Michael’s fans drove more than two hours to the competition, the first Varsity State championship win under coach Sarah Silvernail, who is in her fifth season at St. Michael’s. Silvernail played volleyball for Washington State University. In 1997, she was named to the USA Olympic volleyball team. In 2001 she was inducted into the Washington State University Hall of Fame, and in 2010 the Pac-12 honored her as one of the most outstanding female athletes of the decade.
Separately, the following Varsity Volleyball players at St. Michael’s recently earned All-District Honors, First Team: sophomore Moorea Wood, senior Tori Pylypec, sophomore Jada Birkel, and sophomore Gracie Cuba. Those who received All-District Honors, Second Team, were Kelsey Kilgo and Lauren Milliner. Freshman Kathryn Morton and sophomore Reilly Sokolosky received All-District Honorable Mention.