Dig, Set, Spike!
The Houston-area is full of elite volleyball talent and it was on display in June at The Cannon -- the home of VYPE Media for the annual VYPE Houston Volleyball Photoshoot presented by Whataburger.
Nearly 200 athletes came through the media day presented by Whataburger. Check out the behind the scenes video below! Click here to visit your local Whataburger and make sure to check out #WhataSnap.
Sometimes the really good ones fall through the cracks.
In this case, the VYPE All-State Volleyball awards we announced on Dec. 30 was loaded with incredible talent.
We also threw in the comments with the awards the fact we were open to suggestions on players we may have missed. I mean – there are approximately 12,000 varsity volleyball players across 1,100 or so high school teams in the state of Texas. And that doesn't count the private schools.
As expected, we found out we missed a stellar, stand-out player on our list.
Say hello to Kailin Newsome, she's a 5-foot-11 outside hitter for Clear Brook High School in the Houston area.
Kailin, daughter of Torri and Kristi Newsome and sister to former Clear Brook star and University of Missouri standout Jaden, powered 732 kills this past season in 121 sets (an average of just over 6 kills/set) while digging out 501 balls. For an outside hitter, those numbers are impressive, as was her hitting percentage (.320, well above the high school average of around .240).
Newsome also tallied 31 total blocks and 79 assists for the Wolverines, who won the program's first-ever district title in 2019 (11-1 record in District 24-6A) and went to a program-record three rounds deep in the playoffs.
"This team was such a special group," stated Newsome, who lists Chick-Fil-A's Spicy Chicken sandwich with pepper-jack cheese and no pickles as her favorite food. "We meshed right away; we felt during the first few practices we had a chance to win district this year."
As with the case with our "oversight" with Newsome on our all-state list, Newsome and her teammates felt that maybe the Wolverines – coached by Meredith Thompson – weren't afforded the press they deserved this past season.
"We didn't worry too much about that (lack of publicity)," said Newsome, follower of music artist Summer Walker, who, ironically, scored hit with the song "Girls Need Love" in 2018. "We just went out and tried to do our best, because we knew we had a talented group."
And Newsome was among the top talents, garnering the 24-6A MVP award while helping her squad to a school-record 28-10 overall record. She also credits the one year (her freshman year) she played with her sister, Jaden, as the "tone setter" for her senior season.
"I take my role as a leader very serious," she said. "Jaden pushed me hard and made me a better player. I also learned how to be a team leader from her. She taught me how to encourage my teammates out on the floor, how to be a good 'pick-me-up' type of leader."
Newsome will play both sand and hard-court volleyball at Southeastern Louisiana University next fall. She also considered schools such as McNeese State, Austin Peay, Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston State University before choosing Southeastern.
"I love the coaches over there," Newsome declared. "It's a great little town with a small-town atmosphere. I liked the team and it seemed like the perfect place for me."
And the really good news for Newsome? There's a Chick-Fil-A located right on the Southeastern Louisiana campus in Hammond.