Cowgirls end drought with victory over McKinney (with video)


Camila Flores

Coppell junior middle blocker Madison Gilliland goes for a spike during Tuesday’s volleyball match against McKinney at the CHS Arena. After three close sets, the Cowgirls defeated the Lionettes, 3-0.

Sally Parampottil, Executive Sports Editor

Five straight losses and a 24th place finish at the Northwest ISD Volleyball Classic left the Coppell volleyball team determined to win. 

Tuesday evening, the Cowgirls snapped their losing streak and found their victory against McKinney at the CHS Arena, defeating the Lionettes in three sets, 25-23, 25-21 and 34-32. 

In all three sets, an early lead was established, Coppell in the first and Mckinney in the second and third. In all three sets, that lead diminished and quickly became a back and forth game of who was ahead and who had to fight to catch up. 

This was most especially seen in the final set, which continued far past the standard 25 point victory. The two teams took turns pulling ahead and falling behind until the Cowgirls finally satisfied the minimum two-point win margin. 

“I don’t think I’ve ever played a game to 34, and I’ve been coaching for almost 20 years,” Coppell coach Julie Price said. “We came back after losing it, we came back again and again and again, and in the end, finished.”

Camila Flores

The match was characterized by longer rallies, holding the audience of parents and the student section in suspense. With each kill, a flood of cheers echoed throughout the arena from either side. 

“Nothing felt very smooth or easy,” Price said. “That’s part of figuring out rotations and lineups and what works for us. It was nerve-wracking, but at the same time, really fantastic to finish those games. For our kids to struggle, we’re going to do that, but for our kids to finish means they have a certain amount of mental toughness to stand in and make those plays when it matters, so we had a great win tonight.” 

A strong defense headed by senior libero Maci Watrous was matched with an equally powerful offense, including junior middle blocker Madison Gilliland, sophomore outside hitter Haley Holz and freshman outside hitter/middle blocker Reagan Engler. 

According to Engler, losses during the NISD tournament served as a motivator for this match and their win will serve as a motivator for future matches.

“We got down on ourselves because we knew we could be better,” Engler said. “Today, we just came out and gave it our all, and we won.” 

The Cowgirls will travel to Frisco Liberty at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

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