Gatesville made program history, breaking through past the regional quarterfinals after having its season end three times there in the last five years.

The Hornets (35-7) knocked off rival Lorena last week in a back-and-forth, high-emotion regional quarterfinal that packed Belton High School's gym. They reached the weekend's Region III-3A tournament, falling to La Grange in the semifinals.

They also swept through 19-3A in winning the district championship. And with their dominance, the Hornets were well represented on the 19-3A all-district team, including three of the six district superlatives.

Janey Phillips finished as the runner-up to Krista Koopmann of China Spring as the district's most valuable player. Gatesville's versatile senior was named 19-3A's best hitter.

"She was a good leader," Hornet head coach Rickey Phillips said of Janey. "She never left the floor for us. She helped us hitting-wise, serving aggressively and from her back-row play. … She's been around the game a long time and she brings that to the floor for our team."

Dominating 6-foot-3 junior Glynna Johnson, who already has a best-hitter award on her resume from a year ago, was named 19-3A's best blocker.

"She gets a lot of blocks and she gets a lot of touches," Rickey Phillips said of Johnson. "She forced some teams to do some things they may not have wanted to do at the time just because of her presence inside."

Phillips was named the Coach of the Year, while China Spring freshman Katie Andrie was named Newcomer of the Year. Katie of Lorena was tabbed was best defender, while Robinson senior was named the best setter.

The Hornets had a pair of players named to both the first and second teams.

Junior setter Kaitlin Poe and Megan Chambers, a sophomore defensive specialist, were both first-team honorees.

Second teamers were senior middle blocker Shelby Strange and junior outside hitter Daija Ward.

Junior Skye Truss and sophomores Paige Chambers and Ashley Cook were honorable mentions.

Twelve of Gatesville's 15 players were named to the district's academic honor roll, which is a program best. The Hornets had a combined grade-point average of 96.7. The academic honorees are Katie Brock, Megan and Paige Chambers, Cook, Kelcy James, Johnson, Laramie Kettler, Lauren Nichols, Poe, Strange, Jaycee Summers and Truss.

"That to me is as impressive as the honors on the floor," Phillips said. "Because our kids are taking care of their business in the classroom and that's a pretty tough deal. We get plenty of their time between practices and games, and I admire them for their academic excellence."

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