Photo by Gerald Castillo
Lady Rams season ends in TAPPS 1A quarterfinals
The Lady Rams walked out of the locker room at New Braunfels Christian Academy head high and misty-eyed.
Hill Country Christian just fell to San Antonio Legacy Christian Academy, 3-0 (25-16, 25-19, 25-21), in the quarterfinals of the TAPPS 1A playoffs on Saturday. The season was over.
But at least they finished together.
“I would say this is the team that has been the most joy to coach,” head coach Leslie Olson said. “They love well. They are relentless in their work ethic. And they’re always pushing to improve.”
Olson began the year seeking replacements for two seniors from last season's squad.
Shelby Glosson hadn’t played volleyball since middle school, but decided to give the sport one last run her senior year as a libero. Abigail Williamson, a senior setter, transferred from homeschool after playing for the San Marcos Panthers. Junior outside hitter Mia Luna had been sidelined with a herniated disc in her back, but was now healthy enough to play.
The trio joined the roster and team clicked right away.
“The girls really came together and developed a culture of family and always worked hard for each other,” Olson said. “They loved each other, they supported each other through all of our injuries. They just never gave up hope on anyone. Family is really just the word that describes our team. They just continued to love on each other.”
The chemistry sparked success on the court all year long. The Lady Rams compiled a 29-14-2 record, closing out the regular season by going 10-0 in district play.
Hill Country’s dominance carried over into the playoffs. With homecourt advantage, the team swept Alvin Living Stones Christian in the first round and Houston Family Christian in the second before advancing to its matchup with Legacy.
Though the Lady Rams kept each set close and closed the match out on a 7-3 run, they weren’t able to earn the victory.
After the final point, senior middle blocker Demaris Darnell walked to the corner of the court and buried her face in her hands. Luna and sophomore Emily Glosson rushed to her side. They had to support their family.
“It was really special to be able to make it this far,’ Olson said. “It hurt, our season getting cut short, mostly because we loved getting to spend so much time with each other and work with each other. But, this season we came so far … And it was just a really great experience to get to be here with each other.”
Olson is excited to get back to work for next season. Darnell, Brooklyn Dorsett, Shelby Glosson, Grace Stewart and Williamson will all graduate at the end of the school year. Hill Country will have two juniors and five sophomores return.
“Next year, I’m expecting greatness,” Olson said. "A lot of them will be back, we’re only losing five. And the girls that are coming back have a lot of hard work and dedication. And I know they’re going to do great next year.”