Bridgeland is still a program in its infancy, but the Bears roared in 2021 to reach the State Tournament for the first time. To reach the final four, the Bears had to knock off a perennial power in The Woodlands in the Region II-6A Championship.
Now, what can the encore be?
The Bears do have some holes to fill off their 39-12 State qualifying squad with only three starters returning.
First-team, all-district picks Kennedy Kays (457 kills, 48 blocks) and Alice Volpe (820 digs) are set to be back. Volpe was also the District 16-6A co-Newcomer of the Year.
Second teamers included Olivia Waggoner (350 kills, 55 blocks) and Lauren McIntyre (Southwestern University-commit — 648 assists). Grace Orlando (472 digs) was an honorable- mention pick.
Keys to success for sixth-year coach Verena Khalil’s squad will be “aggressive defense, fast offense and having competitive teammates who always challenge each other in practices to get better every single day.”
Ridge Point has become one of the power programs in Houston. Over the past four seasons, the Panthers advanced to the UIL State Tournament in three of those (2021, 2019, 2018).
The State Semifinalists are led by fourth-year coach Lauryn Bailey, who will get coaching career win No. 100 this season and she has some solid pieces back.
The crew will be led by Colorado-commit Sydney Jordan, who was a first-team, all-district pick a year ago. Jordan led the team with 396 kills (2.9/set) and chipped in a third-best 490 digs. Mississippi State-commit Arissa Smith was named second-team, all-district after registering 187 kills and 85 blocks.
Other key returners include second team, all-district picks Josie Condrey and Lauren Battle, and honorable- mention selection Kennedi Rogers.
Watch out for Ava Thornquist at DS/Libero as well. The Panthers will have to find a setter to set up their big hitters in 2022.
Keys to success include “being mentally tough, working together, commanding the floor and positive communication” according to Bailey.
There is so much fun to be had at a VYPE Media Day!
From team and individual pictures, social media shout-outs, and video interviews it is all there for the student-athlete to feel like a superstar! VYPE traveled out to Willis, TX for the Willis ISD 2022 Fall Media Day.
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