Lady Lions Win State!
LADY LIONS WIN STATE!
Varsity volleyball started off their historic playoff run with home-court advantage as undefeated District Champs, against their cross town rival Fellowship Academy.
This was a quick game where the lions won in a fast three sets and jump-started their confidence on the way to round two against Lubbock Christian.
The game with Lubbock Christian saw more of the same with in a dominant 3-0 win.
This group made winning look easy. Perhaps it was their experience that helped. Just how long have these ladies been playing?
“2 years, 5 years, 6 years, 4 years, 3 years, 7 years, and one wait, let me do the math,” the team all said at the same time.
In other words, this team has played for GPA for a long time. If you combine their years together, nearly 40 years as a lady lion were represented on the court this season. Our GPA family had a lot to do with their development over the years.
“I began jump-float serving when I was 13,” said Senior Hannah Kinney, Libero. “Coach Martha Wilhelm (who teaches history here at GPA) was my head coach at Texas Image at the time, and she challenged me to try it one practice and it has stuck with me ever since.”
In support of the lady lions, GPA held a send-off for the girls as they rode down to Waco to compete in the final four and battle it out against the defensive powerhouse Trinity Christian.
Trinity Christian got off to a hot start going on a 9-1 losing run, which surprised the lady lions and they called for a timeout.
“We had to buckle down and regroup,” said Junior Sage Post.
After re-focusing, the lions rallied to win the first set 25-23.
This gave them a boost of momentum which they used to soar to a 3-1 victory over Trinity Christian, and a date with Northland Christian in the State Championship!
The next match was set: Grace Prep Academy v.s Northland Christian in the TAPPS 4A State Championship in Waco, TX Friday, November 9 And the whole school was closed for the day.
Parent Derrick Kinney even chartered a bus for students to ride to the game on, and fed them lunch at Vytek’s BBQ.
Meanwhile, the team was dealing with nerves.
“I wasn’t feeling well the night before the game so I was really nervous when it came time for the first serve,” said Sophomore Hannah Reeves.
The nerves didn’t stay for very long as they got off to a quick start winning the first set 25-13.
Grace Prep ended up defeating Northland Christian in three sets, while not letting them pass 17 points to win the TAPPS 4A State Championship!
After a long,grueling 50- game season, full of victories, the girls met to discuss their season and the future.
They learned much from Head Coach Prentice Lewis.
“Coach Lewis, she pushes us because she can see our potential.”said Sophomore Courtnie Crayton.
Toa Gaisoa, Varsity Assistant Coach also played a valuable role.
“Both coaches balance each other out, so we have two ends of the spectrum, one hard coach and one who encourages us and then they switch, so they are balancing each other out,” Katie Flood. What they will miss most about the season?
“The seniors…,” the team said in unison.
The volleyball team collectively agreed that the 4 seniors (Hannah Kinney, Claire Bullington, Molly Davis, and Katie Flood) were the encouragers and vocal leaders of the team.
Best memory of the season, “Winning state!” again, they say in unison, and the dog pile at the end,” said Bonnie Davis, and the rest agreed.
Then when it quiets, Reeves says seriously, “Honestly, everything, because this is like probably the best team atmosphere we’ve had in a long time at Grace. We all gelled really well, and it was just fun,” said Reeves.