With injured varsity starters, Klassen steps up to lead Cowgirls to victory

By Maggie Theel

Staff writer

@magggggiee

 

With starting middle blocker freshman Mykayla Myers and right side hitter and backup middle blocker senior Kylie Hagen-Breitenwischer both out due to injuries, sophomores Riley Ross and Abbie Klassen were pulled up from the junior varsity team to varsity Friday night in the game versus the Colleyville Panthers. Although their absence from the JV team was evident in their two set loss to the Heritage junior varsity team, sophomore middle blocker Abbie Klassen shone on the varsity level.

 

With Klassen’s strong offense, the Coppell Cowgirls volleyball team (19-8) defeated the Colleyville Heritage Panthers (15-17) last night in a four game match at home.

 

Heritage began with an early 10-5 lead in the first game, prompting Coppell to call a timeout. Coppell hung with Heritage, not allowing them to increase their lead. Following three kills by junior right side hitter Katie Herklotz, the Panthers called a timeout with a score of 17-12. After the timeout, Colleyville won an exciting rally and used that momentum in their favor, earning themselves a seven point lead. When Coppell began steadily catching up to their lead with multiple kills from sophomore right side hitter Breanne Chausse, Heritage called another timeout on their game point and, with an immediate kill, secured their win of game one with a score of 25-19.

 

In the second game, the Cowgirls came out strong with a 9-2 lead causing Colleyville to call an early timeout. With aggressive offense and disciplined defense from both sides of the court, the second set produced some outstanding rallies and Klassen notched her first kill in a varsity game.

 

“It was a little nerve wracking-the first set,” Klassen said. “But after I got my first kill and I got into it more and I settled down a little bit.”

 

Colleyville Heritage began closing in on Coppell’s lead, but was never able to overtake them. As the Panthers began catching up to Coppell near the end of the set, Coach Julie Green called two timeouts, one at 22-17 and another at 23-20 to refocus the team and ensure their win with a final score of 25-21.

 

In the third game, Coppell once again earned an early lead with a score of 9-6. However, Colleyville Heritage caught up and had a run of four points, putting them in the lead with 10-9 eliciting a timeout from Coppell. The Cowgirls quickly regained their lead with a serving run from senior outside hitter Caroline Riley and, with a score of 14-10, forced Heritage called a timeout. Riley’s seven point serving streak ended with a kill from Heritage, but earned Coppell a healthy lead of 19-13. Following a kill from sophomore middle blocker Abbie Klassen the Cowgirls had a lead of 23-16 and Colleyville Heritage called yet another timeout. The final score of the third set was 25-20.

 

The cowgirls and the panthers matched each other almost point for point at the beginning of the fourth game without either team leading by more than 2 points. The cowgirls finally surged ahead with an unprecedented 3 point lead of 18-15 which was followed by a timeout called by Colleyville Heritage. The game was characterized by a strong defense led by recent Rice University commit, junior libero Lauren Lee and a dynamic offense with kills from middle blocker Abbie Klassen as well as right side hitters Katie Herklotz and Breanne Chausse. The Cowgirls kept a modest lead, with the score climbing to 22-16 before Colleyville called yet another timeout. The final score of the fourth set was 25-19.
“I think going into tonight’s match we were a little hesitant. It’s always hard to lose a starting middle and then a backup middle who’s a senior,” Assistant Coach Robyn Wallace said. “But after tonight’s match I think Abbie proved that she’s ready to play at the varsity level. She was our percentage leader of the night with seven kills. She tore it up.”