Cooper Lady Cougars
Head coach: Nora Campbell (17th year)
Last year’s record: 19-22, 3-5 (tied Wichita Falls Rider for third)
Last district title: 2015 (co-champion with Lubbock High)
Last playoff appearance: 2019 (lost to No. 2 Canyon Randall 3-1 in first round Class 5A playoffs)
Returning lettermen/starters: 7/5
Players to watch: Jennika Willis, OH, 5-9, Sr.; Dazz Larkins, OH, 5-10, Sr.; Bri Garcia, MB, 6-0, Sr.; Mollie Davis, libero, 5-2; Jaycee Rhoads, setter, 5-6 Sr.; Ally Morgan, setter, 5-6, Sr.; Alissa Montgomery, OH, 5-7, Sr.
Coach Campbell says: “Our focus this year, with seven returning players, is to pick up our season where we left off. They took the No. 2 team in the state to four sets, playing close in every game, and our kids left the court that night with the affirmation that they are the brink of going from good too elite. Our district will be tough this year. We will have to come ready to compete each night in order to earn a playoff spot.”
Notes: Cooper reloads with a senior-laden team. Garcia, Larkins, Willis and Davis are all three-year starters, while Rhoads, Morgan and Montgomery are returning seniors. … “We have been excited about coaching this senior class since they were in sixth grade,” Campbell said. “They have bought into what it takes to be successful and have not looked back. These girls realize that this season is a gift and have approached it with so much positive every. I could not be more proud of them. They have been so resilient in a time where there is so much uncertainty. And we will make sure we love every moment we get to spend on the court together.” … Willis and Larkins were both first-team all-district selections last season, while Garcia was an honorable mention pick. … After playing in a district with Aledo, Wichita Falls High, Wichita Falls Rider and Wylie for two seasons, the Lady Coogs are back in familiar territory with four Lubbock schools, plus Wylie, making up the district. Cooper tied WiRider for third in district last season, but the Lady Coogs lost a seeding match to earn the district’s fourth and final seed. … The Lady Coogs have been to the playoffs five of the last six years. Cooper hasn’t won a playoff match since beating Duncanville (15-8, 15-8 before rally scoring) in 2002. The Lady Coogs are 0-8 in first-round playoff matches since, but they match up with one of the best volleyball districts in the state in the first round. Last year, Canyon Randall, which finished 43-4, beat Cooper 3-1 in the first round en route to reaching the state finals. Randall took out District 4 champion Aledo 3-1 in region quarterfinals. Lucas Lovejoy beat Randall 3-0 for the state title.
Date … Opponent … Time
Sept. 15 … Clyde … 6 p.m.
Sept. 18 … Vernon … 4 p.m.
Sept. 18 … San Angelo Central … 5:30 p.m.
Sept. 22 … Abilene High … 6 p.m.
Sept. 25 … Odessa Permian … 6:30 p.m.
Sept. 29 … at Aledo … 6 p.m.
Oct. 3 … at Midland Christian … 4 p.m.
Oct. 6 … at Granbury … 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 9 … Wichita Falls High … 4 p.m.
Oct. 13 … at Lubbock-Cooper* … 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 16 … Lubbock Monterey* … 5 p.m.
Oct. 20 … Lubbock High* … 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 23 … at Lubbock Coronado* … 5 p.m.
Oct. 27 … at Wylie* … 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 30 … Lubbock-Cooper* … 5 p.m.
Nov. 3 … at Lubbock Monterey* … 6:30 p.m.
Nov. 6 … at Lubbock High* … 5 p.m.
Nov. 10 … Lubbock Coronado* … 6:30 p.m.
Nov. 13 … Wylie* … 5 p.m.
*District 4-5A match