Faith Academy eyes state championship following finals trip

Przyborski, Johnston named to all-tournament team

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The Faith Academy volleyball program has its sights set on its first state championship after a trip to the finals ended last season.

With five starters back and a strong mix of new players, the Faith Academy Bellville Lady Knights volleyball team has big plans for the 2019 season. Last season the squad did what no other team since 2013 did—finish the season in the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) Class 1A State Championship match.

But, like that 2013 team, the team was unable to hoist the trophy.

“Last year was just another step in the right direction to keep this program competing at the highest level possible,” third-year head coach Joshua McLain said. “The girls put themselves in a position to win a state championship and that’s all any coach could want from their team.”

McLain said that every year and every team comes with its own identity.

“At preseason camp and in two-a-days we talked about what it is going to take for us to get to our next level of play and that is taking care of the little things on a day-to-day basis. It’s vital this team remembers that throughout this season,” McLain said.

The 2019 schedule should give the Lady Knights plenty of opportunity to see a higher level of competition across the net.

“I tried to get as many public schools to play us again as possible,” McLain said. “I want to play any team that is going to make us better in preparation for the state tournament in November.”

That slate of games started last week before Faith Academy hosted six teams for the first tournament action of the season last weekend and the host Lady Knights came away with a third-place finish that moved their overall record to 5-1.

They started their season on Aug. 6 against Sugar Land Logos Prep, a Class 4A school, and brought home a 3-0 (25-12, 25-14, 25-15) win. That carried into the first day of the tournament where Faith Academy notched three wins, one over the Briarwood School, 2-0, and two against McDade both of which were also 2-0 sweeps.

On Saturday, the Class 1A Knights met with 3A Tomball Rosehill and although the hosts fell 2-1, they rebounded and took care of 6A Houston Lamar, 2-0, to salvage the consolation match and take bronze from their own tournament.

For her contributions that helped her team obtain that position, senior Marissa Przyborski was named to the all-tournament team. The experience against higher classifications will only help build the confidence of this 2019 Faith Academy team, which head coach McLain elaborated on.

“At this point of the season, every team is working on finding an identity. We beat a good Lamar team,” he said. “We were our own worst enemy against Tomball Rosehill in the semi-finals. I think our team missed seven or eight serves against Rosehill. We have to do better and be more consistent.”

Overall, the tournament is another step in the right direction toward returning to the state championship once again.

“I think it will help us down the road definitely. It’s up to this team to control our side of things and we will be fine,” McLain added.

He also explained this brand of Lady Knight volleyball will have its challenges to begin, but he knows once they’re over that hump, only one thing will be on their minds.

“Coming in to the season we are starting the reset button because the girls do not play year-round like most teams we play do. We come in with a learning curve to get through,” he said. “I think we are in a good position right now but lots of work to do.”

Faith Academy gets right back to work with another home game scheduled for Tuesday of this week at 6 p.m. against Smithville before going to the Houston Grace Christian Tournament this weekend.

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