At only 5-2, Sierra Smith is quickly rising high in the Texas State University volleyball program.
The sophomore from Granbury set two records this season for the Lady Bobcats (24-13), helping lead them to the program’s ninth NCAA Tournament berth.
During the season, Smith established the single-game mark for defensive digs, posting 37 in a thrilling 3-2 loss to the University of Texas-Arlington. She went on to finish the season with 548 digs, also a new school record.
Smith registered 192 digs as a freshman, playing in every match. With 740 in two seasons, she is on pace to surpass the school record of 1,434 in a career.
Smith had 41 digs in three matches as Texas State won the Sun Belt Conference Tournament, 22 against Louisiana, 12 against Arkansas State, and seven against UTA. The Lady Bobcats won the first match in four games and swept the next two.
She had eight as the Lady Bobcats faced Texas, the nation’s No. 1 team, falling 3-0 to open the NCAA Tournament.
“One feisty young lady, on and off the court,” is how Texas State head volleyball coach Karen Chisum describes Smith.
“I love having her on the team. Sierra adds spark, competitiveness and fire. She is our defensive captain and has improved and matured a lot this year.
“I’m certainly glad she’s a Bobcat and we have her two more years.”
Smith holds the Granbury Lady Pirates record for digs in her career (1.375). She previously held the record for digs in a season (684), which was broken this season by junior Breanna Crain (751).
“She started off at right back her sophomore year, then moved to left back, and finally middle back and libero,” said Lady Pirates coach Tammy Clark. “She played every position, whatever we needed. Her work ethic and competitive spirit makes it easy for me to believe she is already setting some records at Texas State.
“It will be fun to watch her grow and follow her successes there.”
Smith helped the Lady Pirates advance to the Class 4A Region I third round of the playoffs in each of her three varsity seasons (2009-11).
KNAPP GETS HONOR
Former Granbury Lady Pirate soccer player Katie Knapp has been named first-team All-Sooner Athletic Conference for the Northwood University Lady Knights soccer team. The junior defender helped the Lady Knights (7-7-2) post five shutouts and hold four other opponents to a single goal. A team captain, she also scored two goals and had two assists.
Knapp helped the Granbury Lady Pirates advance to the fourth round of the playoffs her senior season, the deepest playoff run in school history. The Lady Pirates were also 18-8, setting a school record for wins.
Paige Holt, Cameron University, fr. – She posted 22 kills and had 17 blocks for the Lady Aggies (7-23). While at Granbury, Holt was instrumental in the Lady Pirates reaching the third round of the playoffs in each of her varsity seasons.
Shannon Helm, Arkansas Tech, fr. – She registered 114 kills with 23 blocks in helping the Golden Suns (25-12) advance to the NCAA Division II playoffs, losing to Minnesota-Duluth in the opening round. Helm was a teammate of Holt’s on the Lady Pirates.
Madisson Martin, Lamar University, jr. – She had 119 kills and 52 blocks for the Lady Cardinals (9-21). While with the Granbury Lady Pirates, Martin helped them reach the third round of the playoffs twice. In 2010 she led them to a 32-13 record, the most wins in school history before this season’s 41-6 squad. They also won 24 straight matches, another school record.
Jenna Underwood, Oklahoma Wesleyan, fr. – Played on the Lady Eagles junior varsity.
Brandon Davis, RB, Montana State, soph. – Granbury graduate carried nine times for 58 yards and scored a touchdown. He also caught a pass, helping the Bobcats to a 7-5 record. Davis transferred to MSU after playing his freshman season at Louisiana Tech. At Granbury, Davis helped the Pirates to back-to-back playoff appearances, rushing for over 3,000 yards in three seasons, including nearly 2,000 as a senior.
Tyler Wright, TE, Tarleton State, soph. – The Granbury grad finally saw action for Tarleton State after battling injury the past couple of seasons. He played in eight games for the Texans (7-3), mostly blocking, but when he did catch a pass, he made the most of it. His lone reception went for 27 yards and a touchdown.
Mac Prichard-Warren, TE/ST, Texas Lutheran, soph. – Competed for varsity action, mostly on special teams for the Bulldogs (8-1) after seeing significant action as a freshman.
Brandon Fichter, WR, Angelo State, fr. – On roster but no stats registered. In 2012, his only season playing for Granbury, he helped the Pirates to a 7-4 record, what was at the time their most victories since 1998.
Dylan Slaughter, University of Texas-Permian Basin, sr. – Slaughter, a defender, played in 13 games and started six for the Falcons (8-9-1). While a member of the Granbury Pirates, he helped the team win district his senior season.
Travis Benson, New Mexico State, fr. – The GHS graduate made an immediate impression with the Aggies. His stroke average through five fall tournaments was 74.07. He finished strong, shooting a 3-under-par 213 to lead the team in the final tournament, including rounds of 69-70-74. In the previous tournament, the Aggies’ own, he shot 218 with rounds of 72-73-73. With the Pirates, Benson finished third at the state tournament as a junior and led the entire team to a state tournament berth as a senior.
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