WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - The Christ Academy Lady Warriors were the 2018 TAPPS volleyball state champions.
Christ Academy was actually the only school to win team state championships last year and now the Lady Warriors are back to defend their title, but with some new faces leading the way.
“When we won the state championship, which was really exciting," Christ Academy head coach Sara Lindemann said. "In that same year, I lost five seniors. So I’m really excited for this new group coming up and taking leadership roles.”
When Danielle Okeke, Kelsey McClellan and the rest of the senior class graduated, the biggest void they left was leadership of the team.
Because they were great leaders though, the new crop of Lady Warriors are ready to fill their shoes.
“They were a great encouragement for the team," Christ Academy junior outside hitter Morgan Brasher said. "They always encouraged us. They helped show us the ways of volleyball on the court.”
“I think that my five strong girls that I lost imprinted on the underclassmen and they have taught them the leadership skills," coach Lindemann said.
“They kept a good attitude and made sure that everyone was included and made sure to help everyone out on the court,” junior setter Celine Yab said.
With Okeke moving on to play college sand volleyball, the Lady Warriors needed a strong outside hitter to take her place and that’s where Morgan Brasher steps in.
As a sophomore she was instrumental in Christ Academy’s state championship run and coach Lindemann sees great potential in her, but Brasher’s goal for herself is simple.
“To be the best that I can be and go for it," Brasher said.
Short and sweet.
The Lady Warriors will be a new team in 2019.
But Lindemann says it's their hunger and determination that will help keep up the tradition of Christ Academy volleyball.
“The last 10 or 12 years we have had a legacy of strong teams," state championship-winning coach Sara Lindemann said. "Not necessarily championship teams but really strong, competitive teams and I don’t think that has changed even though I graduated five players from the state championship team.”
The Lady Warriors will be one of several teams to open up the volleyball season inside the D.L. Ligon Coliseum for the annual Battle in the Dome on August 6th.
Christ Academy will also play in three preseason tournament before district play starts.