Volleyball opens district against Irving Nimitz (with video)


Sally Parampottil

Coppell senior Kinsey Bailey sets to junior Madison Gilliland during a preseason match against Arlington Martin on Aug. 13 in the CHS Arena. The Cowgirls face Irving Nimitz tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the CHS Arena in its District 6-6A opening match.

Akif Abidi, Staff Writer

Since its preseason commenced, the Cowgirls volleyball team faced off against 29 teams and came out with a 17-12 record. The preseason gave the team valuable time to adjust to its new roster, and came with both high and low points. 

Now, the Cowgirls are prepping up to face Irving Nimitz at 6:30 p.m. tonight at CHS Arena for their District 6-6A season opener.

The preseason began with the several casual scrimmages followed up by several competitive invitational tournaments, such as the Mansfield tournament from Aug. 8-10 when it emerged 4th place amongst a competitive pool of teams. The Cowgirls played their first home opener against Arlington Martin days later on Aug. 13 and won, putting their record at 8-2.

The Cowgirls ventured into their next the preseason tournament, the Northwest ISD Volleyball Classic, with an optimistic outlook. Though the team started off strong with two wins, it soon down spiraled into a five match long losing streak for the rest of the tournament. The Cowgirls also played three more preseason matches just days later between Aug. 20-27, of which they only won one. In just 10 days, the Cowgirls lost their once strong record of 8-2 with a win ratio of 80%, as the large amounts of losses put the team at 11-9 record with a 55% win rate.

“We had a big issue with finishing our matches,” Coppell senior libero Maci Watrous said. “We would get so far ahead, have great energy and connections. But once we got around 20 points, we just couldn’t stretch it to the end. That ultimately cost us all of our matches.”

Sally Parampottil

The team returned home with valuable experience in hand and spent the next week and a half training to learn from its mistakes and looking for redemption in its next tournament – the Kaylee Scholarship Association (KSA) Volleyball Tournament. The three day KSA Volleyball Tournament had the Cowgirls fly to Orlando, Fla. to play against a competitive mix of teams. 

Though the team started off with a loss, it greatly upped their game, as it went on to defeat five teams in a row and earned a spot in the finals against Windermere High School from Lake Butler, Fla. In a close match, they were defeated and arrived back home with a second place medal and an overall record of 16-11. 

“It felt great because before the tournament we really wanted to prove to ourselves… that the work we put in and the effort and dedication we were giving was for a common goal and was actually worth something,” Watrous said. “After the tournament, it was really rewarding to see that the blood, sweat and tears, we were putting into the sport was actually paying off and working.”

The team continued to play in its top form when it came back home, bagging two back-to-back preseason wins. However, the Cowgirls preseason came to a disappointing end as they walked off the court with a 3-0 loss against Grapevine on Tuesday night in the CHS Arena.

Coppell had performed very well last season at the start of the district season, going unbeaten the entire first round of district play and finishing second by the end of district season, all against formidable opponents like returning state champions Flower Mound and powerhouse Hebron. 

But this time, Coppell is powered by a new roster. Last year saw an exodus of senior varsity players, leaving the varsity bench open to a diverse mix of underclassmen and seniors.

“Since we’ve lost so many seniors last year… it’s basically become like a whole new team with girls who haven’t had a chance to play with each other as much,” Coppell freshman middle back and outside hitter Reagan Engler said. “We are all trying to get used to it. Having freshmen play with the seniors feels like a different game than last year.”

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