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The Red Ledger

The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

Volleyball finishes business in district championship

Senior+no.+12+Hannah+Gonzalez+and+jumps+out+for+a+spike.+The+leopards+won+in+straight+sets.
Nicholas Perez
Senior no. 12 Hannah Gonzalez and jumps out for a spike. The leopards won in straight sets.

On Leopard Friday evening, as the community gathered with music, facepaint, games and dancing, the volleyball team prepared to battle Mckinney North in the district championship. The first time the Leopards faced the Bulldogs; they lost 3-1. The players on both sides had their game faces on as they entered the gym.  

“I felt really prepared,” senior outside Trista Tippin said. “We spent a lot of time watching films and gathering a game plan. We prepared by watching the film and correcting our mistakes from the last time we played them. We had a really good week of focused practices, so I was super pumped up for the game. I felt ready to win.”

The stands were packed and eagerly waiting as the game began. The teams went back and forth the first set, the Bulldogs pulling ahead 21-17. The Leopards came back and brought the score to 24-22. Mckinney North held the Leopards at game point and tied up the score. Finally, junior Isa Camacho served an ace to win the first set for the Leopards in a nail-biting 28-26 total score.

“It was really nice having a big crowd for the game,” senior right side hitter Charlotte Wilson said. “It was just a lot of extra support and definitely fueled our energy. The entire match was super hype, and I felt like it was the first game that our whole team came together. Everyone was cheering and just having such a fun time.”

In the second set, Mckinney North quickly took the lead scoring four consecutive points. Just like the first set, the leopards slowly inched back into the lead. Sophomore middle hitter Shelby Burriss blocked a hit, securing the set 25-23 in favor of the leopards. 

“I stayed focused throughout the whole game,” Burriss said. “I put everything I had into that play, and it was so rewarding when we won. I ran and celebrated with my team. It was a super memorable moment.” 

Starting the third set, the teams were yet again neck-and-neck. Ultimately, the Bulldogs were able to snatch the win 25-23. 

“I was honestly surprised that they won the third set,” Wilson said. “That was the only set that we started off with a lead. I feel like we got a little too comfortable after winning the first two sets. Going into the fourth set we were all ready and put everything we had into the game.”

Beginning the fourth set, the Leopards came out dominant, leading 9-3. They continued to stay on top, blocking almost every hit Mckinney North swung. Senior middle Hannah Gonzalez had the game point securing the win for the Leopards 25-11. 

“When we won, it felt amazing because we had prepared so much for this game and we accomplished our goal of winning,” Tippin said. “I was overcome with emotion since it was the last home game and we beat one of the best teams in our district.”

Gonzales led the team with 12 kills, followed by Burriss with nine and Wilson with eight. On the defensive side, senior defensive specialist Mckenna Brand had 28 digs and Camacho served three aces. 

“It was such a great way to end districts,” Wilson said. “After the game, I definitely teared up a little. High school went by so fast and I’m sad that it’s coming to an end, but the season is going great so far. I can’t wait to see where we end up.”

Lovejoy and Mckinney North were both named co-district champions and will be flipping a coin for the playoff matchups. The Leopards will then start prepping for their playoff run. 

“We’re all like sisters, we’re all very good friends and we just have the best environment around us,” junior outside hitter/defensive specialist Reagan Fitzsimmons said. “It is a lot of pressure having Lovejoy‘s name on our back because we have won three state championships in a row. The other years we’ve all collected so very well, but this year I think we just have a special kind of connection, especially off the court is so much different than the other years.”

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Mia Reaugh, Editor-In-Chief
Going into her junior year of high school and third year on staff, Mia Reaugh is ecstatic to start the year as Editor-In-Chief with her partner in crime, Campbell Lester. Outside the classroom you can find Reaugh running at Celebration park, binge-watching the latest reality TV show, waiting in line at Smoothie King or hanging out with her awesome friends (shoutout Pink PJs). Reaugh loves all things competitive! She runs track for Lovejoy and got second place in the 4x400 with her best friends/teammates at state this past spring. Reaugh’s favorite things consist of: Powerade, Zach Bryan, sunsets, Armor Coffee, Taylor Swift and Hoka running shoes. If you have any movie, song or book recommendations, don't be afraid to tell her. Reaugh hopes this year doesn’t fit into the horrible junior year stereotype and is able to accomplish her hefty goals.

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