Woodlands Christian Academy Notches Rivalry Win Against John Cooper School In Straight Sets
THE WOODLANDS, TX -- With bragging rights on the line, the Lady Warriors of The Woodlands Christian Academy (8-4) would defeat the visiting John Cooper School Lady Dragons (2-2) in a heated volleyball rivalry match.
The Warrior faithful showed up and showed out in the early going with chants, yells, and words of encouragement pouring out in support of their team.
Woodlands Christian Head Coach Whitney Wofford spoke on the impact of playing in front of an enthused home crowd.
“We love playing at home because our fans always show up,” said Wofford. “It really adds an extra layer and it always helps to carry momentum when you have people really engaged in the game.”
The Lady Warriors rode the energetic home vibe by taking the first set after holding off a Lady Dragons surge down the stretch. The crucial change came following a Lady Warriors timeout. The team adopted to play around the powerful front-row defense of their opponents to help seal the deal.
“They have two big middles, very active middles,” said Wofford on the Lady Dragon’s defense. “For defense, I shifted it around and tried to take more tips than swings.”
The second set would be hard-fought from the start. The Lady Dragons claimed an early lead following a series of mistakes from the Lady Warriors.
“It’s tough when you get to the end and it becomes win by two,” said Wofford. “There is always that simple reminder of forget the last mistake and forget that last ball since we are always trying to move ahead.”
The fight would not leave the Lady Warriors as they never fell behind by more than four at any point during the set. Their first glimpse of hope came from the first tie of the set at 19 points each. Following the first tie, the set would see eight more until the deciding point was driven home in an ace by Lady Warrior Junior Libero Victoria Crawford to put her team up two sets to none.
“I thought that [Crawford] played well,” said Wofford. “She is meshing with the group and I think that she did an outstanding job of playing libero with this group and I am super excited to see where this season takes her.”
The going would continue to be hard for the Lady Warriors with another heavily contested set in the third. Woodlands Christian would score the first points of the set, but John Cooper would stay very close behind for the majority of the set. A tidal wave of scoring from the Lady Warriors would seal the deal with the score ending 25-20 with Woodlands Christian claiming the victory in straight sets.
“I think it comes down to mental toughness,” said Wofford about the win. “Knowing in that third set that the pressure is off of you and playing cool, calm, and collected volleyball.”
Both teams make a quick turnaround and will participate in the CHSM Invitational Tournament which begins play Friday the 18th.