The Faith Academy Lady Knights are heading back to state after sweeping the area and regional championships to move to 30-8-1 overall. Of course, any long season is incomplete with some bumps in the road and head coach Joshua McLain elaborated on that.
"Well, this team has marked two goals off their list (a district title and trip to state). Like any team, you never do have success without adversity on and off the court. This team has stuck together," he said. "Both teams we faced gave their best and hung around until we settled in and finished the matches. I still believe we have another level to hit and it is coming at the right time."
To help make that next step, McLain scheduled a warmup match with Fayetteville earlier this week before the Lady Knights' showdown with a familiar opponent in Southwest Legacy Prep for the state semifinal on Nov. 7 at West High School.
"We've knocked Legacy out of playoffs the last two years so they will be out to put a stop to our streak but I am confident we can take care of business. It will be a great match," he said. "I don't care what sport or level you play, being one of the last four teams is huge for any program. This team just kept believing and pushing through to get back to state. That’s all I can ask for and I hope that it is this team's and program's year to win it."
After picking up a win in the bi-district round, Faith drew a matchup with a Fredericksburg Heritage Christian team that went 6-2 in their district and put up a good fight but still fell in straight sets. Senior Marissa Przyborski tallied 17 kills and 20 digs while classmate Regan Woodley finished with 5 kills and 13 digs. Freshman Ella Polston dug 12 balls and senior Gabby Yates totaled 26 assists and 9 digs to advance the Lady Knights to the Regional Championship.
There, they met with Covenant Prep Kingwood which provided McLain with some additional intel heading into the biggest games of the year.
"Kingwood Prep was a really good test for us heading into (this week)," he said. "They were very good defensively and had some heavy hitters."
Przyborski once again led the offensive charge with 13 kills and added 28 digs while Isabella Shoenborn registered a 7-kill, 16-dig performance. Woodley finished with 5 kills and 17 digs and Yates closed with assists on 31 scoring plays and chipped in four kills of her own. Addie Kuespert also brought 5 kills and 20 digs to the table to set up a state semifinal trip which was one of the Lady Knights' goals to begin the season.