Lady Cougars win State Championship

The Northland Christian Volleyball Team had a season to remember.

Only two years removed from a state finals appearance in 2018, and after only graduating two Seniors in 2019, the team appeared to be ready for another deep playoff run. The ladies continued to perform admirably, despite the mounting pressure and stress created by the global pandemic.
 
After an undefeated district campaign, and their first district championship since 2002, San Antonio Lutheran came to Northland for the Area Championship. The Lady Cougars handled Lutheran 3-0, and traveled to La Grange for a neutral site match up against San Antonio Holy Cross. After losing the first set to Holy Cross, the team found their focus and execution, winning the next three sets, and advancing to the State Final Four for the second time in two years.

Their semifinal matchup was against a familiar foe. Faith West Academy has been Northland's toughest district rival the last two years, and this would be their third matchup this season. Though Faith West Academy played an inspired match, the Lady Cougars would advance after winning a decisive fifth set.

The Championship Match was to be played at New Braunfels Christian Academy against Fort Worth Lake Country Christian. Fort Worth Lake Country Christian was talented and prepared for the match, and the first two sets were as close as they could be.

Lady Cougars take set 1, 25-23
Lady Cougars take set 2, 26-24
Lake Country would not fade away, and convincingly took the third set 25-13.

The Lady Cougars went to the huddle a little stunned, but the resolve of Coach Gonzales and the leadership provided by Seniors Aimee Arash-Ajayi, Nicole Berkeland, and Emma Nelson had the team refocused for the fourth set.

Lake Country would take an early lead in the fourth set, but Freshman Kinsey Kraner and Sophomore Christina Vigil had key serves that swung the fourth set for the Lady Cougars, and secured the team their first ever State Championship.

This special group of young people, led by their passionate coach, inspired their school and community amidst the backdrop of a world battling COVID-19.

2020-2021 Varsity Volleyball Team
 
Andrew Gonzales, Head Coach

Aimee Arash-Ajayi, Senior
District Player of the Year, 1st Team All State, Academic All State, All State Tournament Team

Nicole Berkeland, Senior
1st Team All-District, 1st Team All State, Academic All State, All State Tournament Team

Emma Nelson, Senior
2nd Team All-District, Academic All State

Julia Shaw, Junior
2nd Team All-District, Academic All State
 
Julia Hearn, Sophomore
2nd Team All-District

Madeleine Hearn, Sophomore
1st Team All-District

Christian Vigil, Sophomore
1st Team All State, 1st Team All-District, All State Tournament Team

Maddie Blossom, Freshman
Honorable Mention All-District

Kinsey Kraner, Freshman
2nd Team All State, 1st Team All-District, All State Tournament Team

Samantha Miller, Freshman