At the end of the match, Savannah Skopal looks at her stats, hoping to see a certain number — 57. The star setter at Rouse High School (Texas) is hoping to beat the single-match assists record held by her older sister, Kaliegh Skopal, and when she gets close, she sends a friendly sibling rivalry text.
“Watch out, I’m coming for you.”
In last Friday’s match against Liberty Hill, she was just three shy with 54 assists. Add in her 42 assists in Tuesday’s match against Glenn, and Skopal is JWS Player of the Week.
“She can make it so every ball is a deliverable ball. She’s not very predictable as far as setting,” Rouse coach Jacob Thompson said. “She’s a big servant leader. She’s someone you want your own kids to follow.”
The 6-foot junior not only leads the team in assists (1,151), averaging 11.8 assists per set, but she is also tied for second on the team in aces (33). She also holds a record of her own — most career assists (3,482) — and at Rouse, the team is playing for something special.
“We’re playing for the high school I go to, which is named after a couple. They still come to every single one of our games. Rouse, as a whole, they take pride in it. Being able to represent them, that’s a big thing,” Skopal said. “In club, you play for your teammates, but you don’t play for Mr. and Mrs. Rouse.”
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Rouse (28-8), a perennial powerhouse in Class 5A, has lofty goals this season. The Raiders are competing for a seventh straight district championship. The team hasn’t missed the playoffs in eight years, but they were eliminated in the third round of the playoffs the last two seasons, losing to the same team both years.
Skopal is confident they can clear that hurdle.
“Coach Thompson talks about our effort and attitude, those are things in our control. That really helps us execute on our side of the net,” she said. “Just taking it one game at a time, no matter the level of competition.”
Off the court, Skopal finds other ways to lead. While math and anatomy are her favorite traditional classes, her favorite class overall is Unified PE. The class partners athletes with students with disabilities.
“She’s a great human. She wants to always help everyone, wants to be there,” Thompson said. “Her legacy isn’t just tied to volleyball. She’s leaving marks in other avenues on this campus.”
After high school, Skopal wants to play in college. She hasn’t committed anywhere yet, but she says she’ll know when it’s time. In the meantime, she’s got a record to beat.
Nika Anschuetz is a contributing writer at Just Women’s Sports. Follow her on Twitter @nlanschuetz.