SAN ANTONIO, Texas — In a dramatic ending to a highly successful season, Huston-Tillotson University (HT) Lady Rams Volleyball team fell just short of first place in the conference tournament but remained winners as regular season co-conference champions.
Huston-Tillotson entered the Red River Athletic Conference tournament ranked first before falling to Wiley College.
Wiley jumped out to a quick start and secured the first set with some great hitting from K. Frank and T. Bozhanova who tallied four kills apiece. The Rams responded by winning the second game, 27-25 with some stellar blocking from A. Brooks and great team serving as HT racked up five aces. HT went on a few scoring runs but eventually fell 23-25 in sets three and four as Wiley became the 2018 RRAC Champions.
HT’s Volleyball Coach Daniel Behnke’s reacted to the game.
“It was a tough loss. We definitely didn’t play our A game, but that was in large part to Wiley College and the pressure they put on us on both sides of the net. Congratulations to Coach MacNeill and Wiley College on a great tournament.”
When Coach Behnke entered the locking room following the game, he praised his team.
“I just let our team know how proud of them I was. There was never a time when they quit on a play. This team gave everything they had all season, and that is all I can ask for as a coach. I think when everything settles, they will see what a remarkable season this was. The record speaks for itself, but our ability to knock off an NCAA D1 opponent twice this season and winning a share of the Regular Season Conference Title is something this program hadn’t done in 21 years when HT last won a championship in the Big State Conference in 1997 under Coach Chris Carter.”
The latter speaks for itself.
What went into making a successful season
Coach Behnke shared his recipe for the team’s success.
“Some of the tactics and strategies used included building stronger mentalities and allowing the hard work to reflect the team rather than just one player. Each individual has kept a team player mentality, and ultimately, it has helped them hold all accountable and keep that winning momentum going.”
Taty Tyson, a junior and power forward on the volleyball team, added a teammate ingredient.
“I remind my teammates every day that we are capable of being the best in the conference and that we had the ability and the mindset to do great things; it was to help motivate them.”
By keeping things fun and knowing how to push players to their fullest potential, Coach Behnke not only bettered his players but also was awarded “Coach of the Year.”
Last season, the team had a record of 21-9, bringing them close to a win at the conference.
Tyson shared that “from the previous year, a lot of returners experienced the loss at the championship game, so that was a huge motivation for me due to the fact that we were right there, so close to being first!”
Although The Huston-Tillotson Volleyball team has come a long way, “we are proud of what we do but never satisfied,” said Coach Behnke.
Congratulations to Coach Behnke and the entire Lady Rams’ Volleyball team.
Here are more season honors earned by the team:
First Team All-Conference
Second Team All-Conference
- KeYonna Ganious
- Mir Tillman
Champion of Character
Coach of the Year
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