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Hockaday burst onto the scene last season with impeccable playing on the court. The squad showed that hard work, determination, and focus can help accomplish any and all of your goals. Their determination earned the Daisies their first SPC Championship in over a decade- this season, Hockaday is looking to repeat their excellence.
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Hockaday posted an incredible season leading to their SPC title. Opening up with big wins over the likes of Haltom City, Nolan Catholic, Victoria's St. Joseph, Richardson Pearce, and more during preseason, the Daisies were set up to do great things from the start. Through district play, the Daisies fought hard and continued to show their strengths day in and day out on the court. The team took down the likes of Greenhill, Episocpal School of Dallas, Arlington Oakridge, and more to finish district play with an undefeated 6-0 record.
During playoffs, the Daisies never took a single moment to hesitate. With a task at hand and a winning heart, Hockaday ended the seasons of John Cooper, Greenhill, and Oakridge before earning their SPC title.
VYPE DFW caught up with coaches Andy Gass and Allison Camp in regards to the upcoming season. "We are so excited to head into the Fall 2022 season and kick off where we left off," Camp said. "Though we will miss a few key pieces that graduated and will be off playing collegiate volleyball, we have important pieces returning and an amazing team as a whole that we can't wait to see back in Hockaday jerseys.
Camp went on to highlight some big returners to the Daisies squad starting off with Avery Jackson. "[Jackson] was recently named the No. 3 player in the country for the Class of 2024 and has already broken five Hockaday volleyball school records in only two seasons."
More key returners include Lauren Ingram who was sidelined with a knee injury a majority of the season last year, but made key plays to help secure the SPC title, Payton Arbaugh who earned All-SPC honors last year and has proven to be an integral part of Hockaday volleyball leadership, and Olivia Wayne who earned All-Zone honors last season as a freshman and led the team in hitting percentage with .358. "[Hockaday has] many other valuable contributors as well as some new faces who will step into larger roles this season," Camp added.
Head coach Andy Gass highlighted his own goals for the team as summer workouts quickly approach: "Our goal is to repeat as SPC North Zone Champions and SPC Conference Champions," he started. "This is not an easy thing to do, and no one has won back-to-back SPC Championships since Greenhill did it in 2015 and 2016. Working in some new players into big roles will be important to us and we will focus on peaking at the right times."
The team was invited to play in the Durango Classic Tournament in mid-September and has a tournament schedule that will do everything to prepare the team for SPC North Zone play.
With so many key returners, there is no doubt that the team will return ready to get things going. Look for the athletes who were on last year's squad to make a true impact on the court while being a great source of knowledge and experience to the newcomers. Hockaday volleyball is not short on the IQ of the game and can be expected to go far this season with a deep playoff push. The team has what it takes skills-wise to repeat and fans can expect them to show the same amount of determination in completing the task!
After a successful season topped off with a school record and a state title, Hockaday Daisies volleyball senior setter, Audrey Gass, is the VYPE DFW recruit of the week. Gass was also named to the AVCA All American Watch List as well as the AVCA Best and Brightest First-Team. Gass set a match record of 59 assists this season twice; once against Bishop Lynch and again against Parish Episcopal. She also recorded a school record of 1,019 assists on the season while tallying 61 aces and 249 digs. VYPE DFW caught up with the senior star to discuss her success on the court as well as what the future has in store:
Photo provided by Hockaday coach Allison Camp
There's no arguing against the fact that the last few seasons of high school sports have been different than all those that came before. With so many distractions, it would have been easy (and understandable) for any student-athlete to get a little off track. However, Gass was able to take every challenge head-on and stay focused- especially throughout the offseason. "I focused on getting better every chance I had and every time I went into the gym for lessons," Gass told VYPE. She also participates in club volleyball.
To have the kind of focus that helps you lead your team to success, you have to have the right mindset. There's no doubt that Gass had a great mindset from the start of the season all the way through to the SPC State Championships. Gass explained her mindest to VYPE as always working to stay focused on getting better. "It's not about being good at the beginning of the season, it's about growing the chemistry of the team and just continuing to get better." After working all season on continuing to get better, her mindset going into the state finals was about putting the "we" before the "me" and focusing on technique without getting ahead of herself. She wanted to work on whatever she could do "to help the team through the match."
With the ability to remain focused, Gass was able to put her personal and team goals on a high-priority list. Gass opened up as to what exactly those goals were this season: "Technique wise, [my goals were] to jump set as much as possible and finish my hands, but other than that, it was to focus from the service line and consistently give my hitters a hittable ball," Gass said. "I feel like I accomplished my personal goals, but really, winning SPC is what mattered and the team reached our team goals."
Winning a championship is certainly an exciting thing. Out of all of the athletes in the state, only a small percentage get to walk away at the end of a season- at the end of a career- with the ability to call themselves a state champion. "It feels AMAZING," Gass said. "Like I did my job and I know how much work I put in and it feels nice knowing I helped do something so great with the program," she added.
The secret to all of the success this season? "Getting past mistakes quickly and just focusing on my technique rather than past mistakes," is what Gass says helped power her personal success. "I chose to focus on bringing the team together and moving forward rather than just my personal touches." As far as the team goes, Gass believes moving through challenges helped the team succeed. "The team is so good about moving past mistakes quickly and going hard no matter what without worrying about the mistakes. We choose to focus on ourselves and being positive as well as bringing the energy rather than ever focusing on a single mistake or point."
Through all of the success, it's easy to make great memories. When asked what her favorite memory with Hockaday volleyball had been, Gass replied "Winning SPC and the teamwork that went into it - not losing a single set in the Championship tournament weekend." Those memories are certainly something that Gass will carry with her through college and beyond.
As a senior, Gass will soon be graduating and moving on to the next level. Gass is committed to Transylvania University in Lexington Kentucky where she plans to take a pre-law track to study environmental law. "Likely, I will major in Environmental Sciences/Studies or Biology which will eventually lead me to law school."
Choosing Transylvania wasn't a difficult choice for Gass. "They have what I wanted both academically and volleyball whise. When I visited campus, I felt like it was the perfect fit for me. Everything felt so personal and like home to me as soon as I got there."
Who is your favorite professional sports team?"I don't really watch professional sports, I just watch as much volleyball as possible. My favorite college volleyball team to watch is Wisconsin."
Who do you look up to as an athlete?"Courtney Thompson. She is such a clean setter who is focused on technique and made the Olympic team even though she is shorter like I am."
If you could go to dinner with one person (dead or alive) who would it be? What would you want to talk about?"The admissions process at Hockaday is so tough and rigid and I am so grateful that I ended up here. I would love to find and talk to the person who interviewed me and decided I was a good fit for Hockaday and to know what they saw in me."
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