Lady Indians looking to reload

New crop of leaders expected to step up in 2021 volleyball season

Bill Spinks
Waxahachie Daily Light
Waxahachie head volleyball coach Sandy Faussett-Stoops gives instructions during a 2020 district home match against Waco Midway. The Lady Indians open the new season on Tuesday at Burleson Centennial.

The Waxahachie Lady Indians have an impressive streak of 19 consecutive volleyball playoff appearances going. Will they be able to make it an even 20 this fall?

The Lady Indians lost a number of strong seniors to graduation, including Kate Morgan (Samford), Avery Long (Alabama-Birmingham) and Emma Smithey (Colorado School of Mines).

But the bench is deep at WHS, and head coach Sandy Faussett-Stoops — entering her 21st season at WHS and her 34th overall — is normally able to reload every season.

On Friday morning, the Lady Indians ventured to Red Oak for a preseason scrimmage. The Lady Indians will open the 2021 regular season on Tuesday at Burleson Centennial at 5:30 p.m.

The 2020 season was delayed by more than a month by the University Interscholastic League in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. But with a shortened schedule, the Lady Indians still finished 17-6, grabbed the No. 3 seed in District 11-6A and dominated Killeen Harker Heights in the bi-district round.

Senior standout Jh’Kyah Head returns for one more season at WHS. Head, returning for her third varsity season at middle blocker, was a team captain as a junior and had a team high of 46 blocks and a hitting percentage of .249, to go along with 204 kills and 12 aces.

This year’s team will also be led by senior defensive specialist/outside hitter Brooklyn Baskin, junior setters Taylor Cavazos and Maddie Fuller, and 6-foot sophomore middle blocker Tionna Owens.

Cavazos returns with a 96-percent serve average with 163 points and 24 aces, and finished the year with 387 assists and 139 digs.

Senior defensive specialist/libero Rylee Robinson, 6-foot sophomore middle blocker Hannah Morgan and junior outside hitter Amber Morgan are also players that the Lady Indians will be counting on in 2021.

Last year, the UIL forbade volleyball tournaments because of COVID-19 restrictions. But with vaccines now widely available, tournament play is back in 2021. The Lady Indians are entered in the Mansfield Tournament Aug. 12-14, the Northwest ISD Classic at Haslet Eaton Aug. 19-21 and the Volleypalooza at Leander Rouse Aug. 26-28.

Home non-district matches are scheduled at Mike Turner Gymnasium against Granbury on Aug. 17, Mansfield Summit on Aug. 24 and Highland Park on Aug. 31. This year’s District 11-6A schedule will begin Sept. 10 at home against Waco High.