The morning of October 4 began with a beautiful sunrise, especially as you entered the TCS campus. What is even more memorable than the morning, was how the day ended at the Cougar Center; streamers, smiles, cheers, people – lots of people – TCS flags on the court, signs in the bleachers, tears of happiness, a championship for the books and a volleyball trophy for the case. The Lady Cougar Varsity Volleyball team made history. #1 in the AAC. Here is the rest of the story…
Honestly, it was a long day, a good day but a long day. There was great excitement after the Wednesday win versus AASD and much talk about the afternoon championship matche, so yes, a long day is an understatement. Besides the awesome encouragement from staff and their peers, the Lady Cougars had surprise posters made by the TCS MS Volleyball team. So when the time rolled around to finally hit the court, the Lady Cougars were pumped and ready to go!
The Cougars took the court with the bleachers full of staff, fans, friends, family, alumni, founders and more; all there cheering them on. Set 1, Emily started the team off with 6 consecutive serves, putting the Cougars in the lead 6-3. Brandy, Bethany, and Julia worked the net, playing it tight to hold on to the serve. The teams traded points and the Mustangs crept ahead 8-9. It was a ping-pong game with key passes made by Grace and Esther getting the Cougar serve back. Grace served, knocking the score to 12-12. Mustangs stole back the serve and added points on their side, 12-15. Emily returned to serve with her soft but mighty shot. The team backed her up with strong court coverage, and the Cougars took the lead, 19-15. Cougars lose the serve with a dropped ball to their center court. Brandy returned a shot into the deep back corner, getting the ball back in their possession. Julia stepped to the line and added 2 more. Followed by Brandy putting on the pressure with 4 strong shots, helping the Cougars take the first set, 25-16.
Set 2 almost sent the coaches to the ER room, no joke. Too stressful to talk about this one. The short version was the Cougars had a tough set and while they tried to right the balance, it was a downward spiral. In this set, the Mustang servers took the momentum and Cougars could not get it back. Mustangs took this one, 7-25.
However, stay tuned, the story gets so much better here. Besides the fact that the Lady Cougars have honed their athletic abilities, they have also learned to move beyond the stress of being down a set. This is where the Cougars jumped back into the match, ready to play their game and fought with determination for the win. It began with 4 great serves from Emily, score now was 4-3. Mustangs began to sneak ahead after some Cougar errors. The teams traded points and serves back and forth. There were some great volleys and saves as both teams fought to take the lead as well as win the serve. Grace gets things going with 3 shots, the score now 13-12. Emily returned to the service line and began firing away her trademark serves, putting the Cougars back in the lead, 20-15. Julia then stepped up and brought on the heat with 3 more shots, 23-18. The passing game was hot as the Lady Cougars held strong with their court coverage, fighting to win and keep the serve. All of this was backed up by the loud and powerful bench reminding the team and the crowd, “Who wants this? The Lady Cougars want this!” Bethany fired off the final serve and Cougars win, 25-20.
The crowd was so loud, the flag was being waved and run up and down the court; set 4 begins. They took the court with courage and confidence. The Lady Cougars stood strong to the first Mustang server and hold her to only 4 serves. This was huge after the debacle of her 11 point run back in set 2. Emily grabbed the ball and started off with a 4 serve run. (6-4). Followed by 3 from Julia (9-7) and 6 from Brandy (15-8). Julia, Grace, and Emily continued to cover open court space, providing confident back and forth volleys that kept the ball in Cougar hands. Brandy made a key shot to the back corner of the Mustang court, getting the serve back for the Cougars. Bethany delivered her silent but hard to return serve, nailing 8 serves. This was backed by the rest of the team, the score was now 23-11. Cougars lose possession. A well-placed pass from both Grace and Julia earned the Cougars the serve. Esther stepped to the line. She placed two serves, backed by defense from the team. Her last serve is shanked off by the Mustang player and the mighty Lady Cougars take the set and match, 25-12! TCS volleyball history has been made!
The ladies rushed the court as the reality of what has happened sinks in. Confetti, cheers, Cougars, and cameras overwhelm the court. History has been made and it was awesome to see and experience. In addition to the title, senior Julia Baumohl was awarded MVP. The decision was unanimous across the board from both teams. She played with talent, grit, grace and her always positive attitude – making her the ideal choice for this honor and award. Thank you to everyone who came out to support these young ladies and all their efforts this season. Thanks to the staff that volunteered as line judges (Julie and Lauren – you rock), Richie and Lyle for all their work. Thank you to parents for your time, efforts and support this season. Enjoy this win Lady Cougars, you deserve to ride the wave of excitement that follows and remember how hard you all worked to get there. Continue to lead and learn in the chapters of life that follow this one. Your coaches are so incredibly proud of each one of you! Go Cougars!