Ms. 1,000!: Cy Springs' Bradley reaches career milestone presented by T-Mobile
HOUSTON – Alyssa Laker knew the exact moment that school history had been made.
"I knew the exact moment she did it," Laker, the Cypress Springs volleyball coach, said. "Her mom films all her games and I looked back at her mom and just shook my head, 'she did it'."
What Ielan Bradley did was monumental – reaching 1,000 career kills.
On Friday, facing Cypress Ranch in a district match, Bradley was sitting at 989 kills. Just 11 away.
At the end of the match, Bradley's final tally was 14 kills, putting her at 1,003 career kills and the first-ever Cypress Springs volleyball player to reach that illustrious benchmark.
"I think it's amazing, because I feel like I can just keep setting goals for myself and help my team strive to be the best they can be also," Bradley said. "So, they can also set their own goals and create history for our school."
Ielan Bradley got her 1000th varsity career kill tonight! #BEAST #F3 #AllDayEveryDay #RetireTheJersey 😂 pic.twitter.com/G1fXsib74E
— Coach Behne (@coachbehne) September 14, 2019
This past summer is when Laker started crunching the numbers.
What she found was the number of kills Bradley was away from the career mark was fewer than what the incoming senior normally averaged. Hence, the countdown began.
"It was very special because I've had the opportunity to work with Ielan for the last four years, three of which she was on varsity," Laker said. "I've watched her grow so much not only on the court but also in the classroom. She's one of those kids who doesn't allow the mental game to get to her. When she puts her mind to something, she's more than determined to make them happen. Not only that, she also sets her personal gains aside and helps her teammates, coach them and make them better as well."
Being the first to accomplish something is special.
Bradley recognizes this that her name will stand as the first to reach this landmark number but the Stephen F. Austin volleyball commit knows she didn't get here alone.
"It was a surreal moment," Bradley said about celebrating with her teammates. "I know I couldn't have done this without them. We have been together since middle school. Being able to see each other grow as athletes and people it's just amazing to do everything together."
The night it happened, celebratory tweets went out on social media.
Included in those series of tweets, Cypress Springs soccer head coach Caitlin Behne tweeted out the video of the 1,000th kill.
At the end of the post the label #RetireTheJersey stood out.
"I've never had an athlete as special as this one come through, this is all new to me as well," Laker said when asked if the No. 16 would be retired one day. "We're all just taking this journey together. I started building this program six years ago and it's reached its highest level of competition that it has. When you have an athlete that's as special as Ielan, it's a learning process.
"I think it would be awesome to [retire her jersey]. I don't know what the protocol is for retiring a jersey. I would love to see what Ielan goes off and does in college and combine her high school and college accomplishments and go from there. It would be something cool to do."
Bradley's next goal on the list is to continuing honing her skills to prepare for collegiate volleyball at Stephen F. Austin.
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