BY ETHAN MUNCAN
Cooper City’s girls volleyball team has sustained the district champion title for two years running – and while that is a feat in itself, the team is still looking to improve on their longstanding streak. Although volleyball season is just starting up, the Lady Cowboys are already setting their sights on obtaining a three-peat.
In both 2015 and 2016, Coach Smitherman led the girls team to the district finals twice and won the trophy both years. Nothing has changed over the years; the Cowboys continue to practice hard and work on weak points daily to get ready for the season ahead. With six seniors leaving the team and underclassmen stepping in, Smitherman is confident in their playing ability.
“The girls volleyball team is as strong as ever and I have high expectations for this season,” Smitherman said. “With a three-peat for district championships in our sights, we will have a higher intensity in practices and conditioning as a team to achieve our goals.”
In 2016, the Cowboys finished with a 9-10 record and a 5-5 record in districts. This year, the girls are determined to finish with a 12 plus win record in the regular season to put them in the right mindset for districts. The team believes the practices and conditioning in the summer has prepared them for the upcoming 2017 season.
“Everyone has been working hard and training since July 3 and were all very excited to put all of our hours of practice to use,” said senior Emily Miranda.
On Monday, August 21, the Cooper City Cowboys faced up against Flanagan to kick off the season. At the beginning of the first set, Flanagan put up two points to take a solid lead up until the end of the second set, when CCHS started a comeback. The Lady Cowboys began to pick up a rhythm, putting up points with spikes and important defensive plays. However, they fell short in the second set and Flanagan won that set, eventually winning the entire game 3-0.
Looking to redeem themselves, the Lady Cowboys played against South Plantation at home, winning the first set but struggling to keep a flow for the rest of the game. Towards the middle of the game, South Plantation began to dominate by rally scoring and putting point up from spikes. Cooper held a solid lead in the second set, but South Plantation came back and won the second set. In the last set of the game, the Paladins came on top and won the game 3-0.
After two tough losses, the Cowboys looked for their first win against McArthur at home. The Cowboys won the first set with key plays from seniors Becca Smitherman and Emily Miranda. At the beginning of the second set, the Mustangs came out strong playing tough defense and sending hard spikes towards the Cowboys. The Mustangs managed to tie the game 1-1 at the end of the second set.
With ample time left, the Cowboys went on to win the next set, making it 2-1. Hoping to end the game, the Cowboys fell short in the fourth set and the Mustangs once again tied it up and made it 2-2 going into the last and final set.
The Cooper City crowd roared as they took the court. With aggressive plays and solid defense, the Lady Cowboys were able to break the ice and win their first game of the season 3-2.
After a rough start to the season the Cowboys managed to get their first victory of the 2017-2018 season against McArthur. With a long season ahead, the lady cowboys have their sights locked on the district championship trophy.
Photo by Hailey Brown