The Woodlands Christian Academy has established a new standard for its program over the past two seasons with unprecedented success on the court. Several key players from those teams have graduated, however, so now the Lady Warriors’ focus will be maintaining that high level of play.
Head coach Kori Parker believes her returners and newcomers are up for the challenge.
“The last couple of years, there’s definitely been a strong foundation set for our program,” said Parker, who is entering her fourth season at the helm. “We’ve got a lot of new faces this season, and they’re excited about trying to fill some big shoes and trying to keep that tradition alive.”
The Lady Warriors are coming off the two best seasons in program history, reaching the TAPPS state tournament in back-to-back seasons. TWCA has won two district titles and compiled an overall record of 55-17-4 in that same span, thanks in large part to a strong 2019 class.
TWCA graduated three pillars of the program this past spring as setter Destiny Brass, outside hitter Macie Draudt and libero Ryann Booth. All three garnered all-state honors during their time with the Lady Warriors, and they will no doubt be difficult to replace.
“We actually met with our upperclassmen to talk about what their leadership role is going to look like for this season,” Parker said. “They know they have some big shoes to fill, but they are up for the challenge and excited about the season and ready to lead this team. They have had some great role models the past couple of years to watch, but I’m excited for them to be their own players and their own leaders and to create a new season, new team, new leadership.”
TWCA does return a few key players from last season when the team advanced to the Class 4A semifinals. Senior outside hitter Bella Eddie has been a state all-tournament team performer in the past, and she and junior Abby Adams will lead the charge for the Lady Warriors’ attack. Adams was a second-team all-state player last season and is poised for an even larger role.
TWCA also returns senior middle blocker Katie Tucker, and all-district performer who will be the primary minister of defense at the net for a team with lofty ambitions.
The Lady Warriors will once again be competing in a four-team district with two playoffs spots up for grabs. Katy Faith West and Lutheran North were the two teams left out last season, while TWCA and Northland Christian took first and second place, respectively. The latter two played five total matches last season, and the Lady Warriors won three. The Lady Cougars won the final and most important clash, however, capturing a victory in the state semifinals.
“We know we’ve got a tough district ahead of us,” Parker said. “With it being a small district, only the top two teams advance to the playoffs, so there’s little room for error. We’ve got to go in with that mindset for every district match. I’m definitely not going to discount Lutheran North or Faith West out of Katy. Northland, we’ve had some incredible competition with. They’ve won some, we’ve won some, and it’s really gone back and forth. I love the competition there because I know we’re going to get an outstanding match physically and emotionally.”