All-Texomaland Volleyball 2012 — Pilot Point’s Richey jumped in

PILOT POINT — With a drop in classification the Lady Bearcats were expected to make a jump in the standings.

Helping Pilot Point reach those goals was freshman Ashtyn Richey, who had an immediate impact on the rotation.

“Volleyball has been my passion. Getting on varsity was my main goal,” Richey said. “But I didn’t expect to play as much as I did.”

She finished the season with 182 kills, 33 blocks, 65 digs and 10 aces, despite being sidelined during district play with a hand injury.

Pilot Point captured the District 12-2A championship and finished the season 30-8 with a region quarterfinal loss to district opponent Gunter.

This came after the Lady Bearcats were a third-place finisher in 9-3A and compiled a 16-14 record in 2011.

“I could tell that we were going to be good and I was hoping to be on a team that was expected to do well,” Richey said.

For helping Pilot Point take such a big leap, Richey, who was a first-team all-district selection, has been named the Herald Democrat All-Texomaland Volleyball Newcomer of the Year for the 2012 season.

She added another dimension to an offensive attack that was unable to focus solely on all-state pick A.J. Campbell. Along with Kirby Smith, Richey made the Lady Bearcats tough across the front row.

“It didn’t take that long to get comfortable,” Richey said. “But I need to work on things so I can be full force and do the things I need to do.”