To set the stage for this epic game, one must know some backstory. Hebron Hawks Volleyball out of Carrollton, Texas is a back to back 6A state champion and commits more than a fourth of their playersteam to D1 teams every year. Ursuline Volleyball, on the other hand, does not have the has not the most stunning track record over the past year. But, Ursuline UA has come out strong in the pre-season before district play by battling multiple quality public school teams in Varsity tournaments.
Getting back to the point of the story, Ursuline was playing at the PSA League of Champions Tournament in Murphy, Texas, the day before the big game against Hebron in Murphy, Texas. Ursuline had to play Prosper High School and Flower Mound High School. TheyUrsuline had to fight hard against the much taller Prosper team. The first set was close, but Prosper’s outside hitter started to get on a roll and took the set away from Ursuline. The Ursuline Bears came back strong in the second set with an 8-1 lead. But Prosper did not give up , as they started to fight back in the middle of the set, but Ursuline closed the set out 25-23. Unfortunately, the Prosper outside and middles got hot again in the third set which really challenged Ursuline’s team. The Bears lost the third set, but only by a small margin.
The second game of the day was against Flower Mound High School. The Flower Mound team came out hot hot with their strong and tall middles putting down balls on the Ursuline court, but the Bears did not quit when the times got tough. Even tThough Ursuline dropped the first set, they came back and won the next set by blocking balls at crucial points in the match as well as placing strategic hits to garner the most amount of points.
Although the morning pools were not exactly what the Ursuline Volleyball team wanted, the incredible fight in the morning games inspired them to play their best in the crossover match to hopefully stay in the gold bracket. Ursuline took down JJ Pearce in their crossover match in straight sets by making very few errors and shutting down JJ Pearce’s main outside hitter. By defeating JJ Pearce, Ursuline sealed their spot in the gold bracket of the tournament.
Ursuline fell early in the gold bracket to McKinney Boyd due to unforced errors, but the game remained close nonetheless. The team was ready to compensate for their upsetting loss heading into the game against Hebron volleyball. The Hebron volleyball team is comprised of 20 people ranging from freshman to senior, including a national champion and two all-state selectees, so Ursuline was definitely the underdog going into the game.
People were walking right by the side of the court as they assumed Hebron would crush the Bears pretty quickly. But much to the dismay of Hebron, Ursuline was not going to roll over. The game started off not at all what anyone expected, Ursuline kept point for point with Hebron Volleyball. For every point that Hebron scored, Ursuline challenged it by scoring another point. Hebron served well that game, but Ursuline served stronger by acing the Hawks multiple times. People started to congregate to watch the increasingly exciting game. Most people looked quite dumbfounded by the fact a small private school was going point for point with a state champion. In the last point of the game, Hebron closed the first set 26-24 by serving an ace.
The second set started a little different, Ursuline took the lead early on and never looked back. The hitters on the Ursuline team really took control of the match. The defensive players, Isa Lopez and Mackenzie Morris, dug a greatn insurmountable amount of balls to set up the setters, Grace Cardenas, Madison Wilson, and Natalia Walls, with great passes to set the hitters who put the balls away effectively. The group of people continued to grow throughout the duration of the second set as people were amazed to watch an amazing Ursuline team battle against the giants of Hebron volleyball. Ursuline took the second set 25-21, which pushed the game to a third set.
The third set followed a similar pattern of the first set, Ursuline and Hebron went point for point. This time though Ursuline fought for a different outcome. Even though the Bears fell behind at the end of the third set 24-22, they came back to win the set 26-24 closing the match in epic fashion. The crowd now completely surrounding the court was baffled, never had anyone guessed would a small private school take down the powerhouse that is Hebron volleyball. The entire team was ecstatic for a program defining win.
The rest of the season is still open for the UA Bears to take and the team is looking optimistic towards the future. The big win against the nationally ranked Hebron Hawks has challenged the Ursuline Bears to keep pushing themselves towards a strong year.