Cooper volleyball records best season
by Lynn Boeding, Sports Communications The John Cooper School
Nov 19, 2012
THE WOODLANDS, Texas - In the best finish in school history since joining the conference, The John Cooper School volleyball team finished in fifth place at the recent Southwest Preparatory Conference (SPC) Championships.
The team lost to All Saints Episcopal 3-0, beat Episcopal School of Dallas 3-1 and beat St. John’s 3-2. Sophomores Margaret Connett and Julianne Malek earned All-SPC honors for their efforts.
According to coach Jim “Smoki” Richardson, the first loss against All Saints Episcopal was the most discouraging, as it dashed any hope of taking the championship.
“Although it was disappointing, we went into our next match against Episcopal School of Dallas determined to play to play at the level we knew that we were capable of playing,” said Richardson. “We came out a little slow, still trying to find ourselves on the court and dropped game one. However we recovered, found our rhythm, and won the next three sets giving us a 3-1 win.
The Dragons’ final game was against St. John’s to compete for a fifth place finish.
“We anticipated a battle, knowing that St. Johns would be looking for some redemption after their earlier loss to us in conference play,” said Richardson.
As expected, St. John’s came out to win, stopping the Dragons’ first two sets with scores of 25-17 and 25-13.
“For game three, the girls dug in defensively and started digging balls that we were not getting up in the first two sets and our offense came to life,” said Richardson.
The Dragons outscored St. Johns 27-25 in set three, and again 25 -21 in set four, sending them to a fifth game.
Game five went point for point. The game ended with Taylor Turner making a perfect pass off of a serve-receive and Christina Gooch making a great set to Margaret Connett, who terminated the game with a smashing kill, giving the Lady Dragons a 15 -13 victory.
Offensively, Julianne Malek carried the team throughout the match with 20 kills, four solo blocks and three service aces. Defensively, Lexi Frazier led with 43 digs followed Taylor Turner with 36 digs.
“Overall, it was a great team effort and we are proud to have ended the season with a 34-10 record,” said Richardson. “For the second consecutive year, we set school records for the most matches won in a season and it was also our best Division I finish to date.”
Since the team is young, Richardson looks forward to returning next year with the full team.
“I think we have set a new standard for our program and hope to continue the building process to make us a respected opponent,” he said. “I am so proud of the girls and the accomplishments they have made this season. They have worked very hard and they never gave up, so it was gratifying to see all their hard work pay off.”