Cowgirls upset Allen Eagles in five-game match

By Andy Tabor

Cowgrils are pumped after defeating Allen. Photo by Tyler Morris.
Cowgirls, including senior Mallory Cravens, are pumped after defeating Allen. (Photo by Tyler Morris)

Heart, determination, and execution:  all of these traits were demonstrated on Nov. 6 by the Coppell Cowgirl volleyball team.  The Cowgirls beat the number four ranked team in the state and top team in the area 25-21, 22-25, 25-21, 22-25, and 16-14 in a nail-biting five game match.

The Cowgirls and Allen Eagles were extremely evenly matched and seemed to have answers for the other team every single point.  Volleys lasted for what felt like minutes, while every single fan was on their feet screaming for their team.  The atmosphere was electric, with chants flying back and forth in the tightly packed gym.

Many memorable plays were executed at Plano West Thursday night by the Cowgirls and Eagles.  Both teams were pushed to the limit and each one pushed back their absolute hardest, until finally one could push no more.

The Cowgirls had not one player stand out totally above the rest.  The entire Cowgirl squad had to play the perfect volleyball match to reach the next round and that they achieved.  Senior Mallory Cravens continued to show her revitalized talent with many important kills while playing on the front row.

Senior Faith Avalos faced pressure from talented under classmen, and still delivered what may be the match of her life.  Throughout the game Avalos would stand and deliver big shots whenever the Cowgirls needed them.  Whenever Avalos would sub out, junior Chandler Hatton would fill in without missing a single beat.

Senior Kirstin Hazelrigg kept the Cowgirls in games late with powerful hits from the right side of the court that would touch down just before the out of bounds line on the left side of the opponent’s court.  Unlike in previous games, when the Eagles keyed on senior Co-captains Taylor Meade’s strong early kills, the rest of the attack did not waiver, producing many important shots to keep Coppell in the match.

Sophomore Bear Bass was one of the standouts of the Coppell-Allen volleyball match-up.
Sophomore Bear Bass was one of the standouts of the Coppell-Allen volleyball match-up (Photo by Tyler Morris).

Seniors Shelby Tamura and Kelsey Preston quietly produced vital digs and countless assists, respectively, to lead the team to victory.  Sophomore Bear Bass, at the very end of the fifth game, made a clutch serve un-returnable that gave the Cowgirls new life in the pivotal game they eventually went on to win.

Although those contributions were all desperately needed, quite possibly the two biggest players for the Cowgirls, were from freshmen Cassidy Pickrell and Erica Bohannon.

Both freshmen made various kills and completely energized the team with their play tonight.  Bohannon showed flashes of a future all-state worthy middle blocker, while Pickrell cemented herself as one of the best freshmen volleyball players ever to play at CHS.

As for the Eagles, D.J. Phee and her teammates came up slightly short in one of the greatest volleyball games of the season.  Phee led her team valiantly throughout, never once leaving the court.  Phee would make digs, assists and kills to try and will the Eagles to victory.

The Cowgirls’ momentum that follows a huge win like this can either continue to fuel the fire, or the fire will flame out.

“We could be playing either Plano West or Hebron depending on which team wins tomorrow.” Cravens said.

Whoever the Cowgirls play next, they will have a major target on their back. Hey, they just knocked off one of the best teams in the state.

Gallery by Tyler Morris