Cowgirls find rhythm to finish off preseason


Neveah Jones

The Coppell volleyball team huddles in the Coppell High School Arena on Friday. Coppell defeated Prosper Rock Hill and Rockwall 3-0, losing to McKinney North 3-1.

Anjali Krishna, Co-Sports Editor

As the Cowgirls step into their huddle, up 24-23 in the final set, Coppell and McKinney North coaches continue to argue with the referee. After a few moments, the call is changed and the set is ended – in McKinney North’s favor. 

“I was blocking outside and hitting the ball and [McKinney North] swung line but the call was that she hit the antenna after she tooled [attack by hitting ball off block to unreachable area] off my hands because I was coming down off the block and I hadn’t touched it yet,” Coppell junior right-side hitter Abby Hendricks said. “It hit the antenna, which slowed it down when it was coming down. If it had hit the antenna, it would have gone out, and if it hadn’t, then it was a tool.”

Despite Coppell taking a large lead to start the match, McKinney North was able to creep in to win, 3-1.

“In the third of six rotations, we would let them score however many points so we made the game difficult for ourselves,” Hendricks said. “Our passing wasn’t as good as it has been and that kept us from ending those runs and being able to come back instead of getting stuck in serve-receive.”

The match against Prosper Rock Hill the night before took a different direction, Coppell sweeping 25-23, 25-18, 25-11. Rock Hill’s greenness as a team, being from a new high school, was easy to take advantage of. 

“As long as we were able to swing away and be clean and pass a hit, we were fine,” Hendricks said.

For most of the night, Coppell dominated with strong defense and connected offense, but nearing the end of the first set, at Rock Hill’s only lead in the entire match, a referee’s call changed the tide. The score was brought back down to be tied at 23-23 from 24-22, Rock Hill leading, on account of its accidental touch of a ball heading out. Coppell quickly took set point, then led the rest of the match. 

Starting slow with adding new rotations, the Cowgirls progressed in pacing and confidence. The last set came together for Coppell, beating back Rock Hill’s offense for things to finally come together.

“That’s the most competitive they’ve stayed; we’ve played several matches where we get ahead and then lose a couple points and we have a hard time playing even,” Coppell coach Julie Price said. “[Friday night], we would have an error and we would step back in. Mentally, we were competitive and stayed confident.”

Rockwall, on the other hand, was more competitive but saw Coppell sweeping again, 25-23, 25-22, 25-21. With bigger hitters at the pins and a bigger team overall, the style of play that Coppell attempted would be completely different.

“They’re starting to get some confidence; we graduated ten seniors last year so we’ve struggled to find a preseason to find a rhythm and tonight we did that and had an emphasis on letting it go,” Price. “Whether it was a good point or bad point, we’re moving forward and I could see that in the kids’ demeanor that they weren’t hanging on to the ball that didn’t go our way.”

Changes since Tuesday’s defeats proved beneficial, with improved blocking closing points out at the net and allowing for a cleaner back row. Building up connections and intensity, they head into District 6-6A play. The Cowgirls play at Flower Mound at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday night. 

“We open up with Flower Mound and they are ranked [No. 17] in the nation so that’s going to be a formidable opponent,” Price said. “They are returning most of their kids. The Rockwall coach [Trevor Ferguson] just called it the ‘District of Death.’ I’m excited to see the team that showed up tonight, our team, and take them to district.”

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