“It was huge,” for us, Merrell said. “we faced some adversity against A&M Consolidated as well and I told them, you have to welcome this because this is how we learn and how we get better. Both yesterday and today we can put those moments in our back pocket and it will come in handy in the long run."
Tompkins wasn’t sure what to expect out of themselves in this weekend’s Katy ISD/Cy-Fair Volleyball Classic
With a young team early in the season, and with the Falcons missing multiple players early in the tournament, having to call up players from JV and playing against some of the best teams in the state, it would have been understandable for Tompkins to have a good but not great tournament, or to have some strong performances but ultimately fall short against one of the four teams in the tournament that made last year’s UIL State Tournament.
But Tompkins wasn’t interested in anything less than proving anyone who doubted them this weekend wrong.
The Falcons went a perfect 8-0 over the weekend, capping things off with a three set sweep of Canyon (29-27, 25-23, 26-24) in the gold bracket finals to take home the winners trophy from the entire tournament.
“We came into this tournament and we weren’t really sure how we would look, but we knew we were going to give it everything and push to go as far as we could,” said senior outside hitter Cindy Tchouanwa. “We didn’t really put any expectations on ourselves because of that and having to call up a couple players from JV. But we won all of our games on Thursday and it just kind of proved to ourselves that we could compete no matter the roster we have. We really just worked hard and came together everyday and that ended with us winning the entire things.”
The tournament wasn’t without challenges from Tompkins, the Falcons faced a tough match against A&M Consolidated on Friday before beating last year’s Class 6A state champions in San Antonio Brandeis in the gold bracket semifinals on Saturday morning.
But the Falcons toughest matchup was in the final against Canyon, as each set was decided by just two points.
“We had to mix a lot of things up, but I think that’s just going to make us better,” said junior outside hitter Skylar Skrabanek. “We had some people playing front row that never really play front row and had some people playing back row that have never played there before. But we practice thi stuff all the time and getting different people game time at these different positions is so important. Now we know if someone gets hurt or if we need someone to step into a different role that they can, because we’ve already done it against really good teams.”
Every set was back and forth between Tompkins and Canyon. The Falcons took an early lead in the first set before Canyon made a storming comeback. The teams battled before Tompkins took the set 29-27. The second set was much of the same, with both teams grappling to try and get ahead before the Falcons came out on top.
But it was the third set where the Falcons showed their grit. They fell behind by as many as seven points before mounting a huge comeback to win the final set. And for Tompkins head coach Allison Merrell, that was the most important thing the team could have done.
“It was huge,” for us, Merrell said. “we faced some adversity against A&M Consolidated as well and I told them, you have to welcome this because this is how we learn and how we get better. Both yesterday and today we can put those moments in our back pocket and it will come in handy in the long run. The fight and the determination is exactly what we wanted to see.”
The Falcons are happy with their run at the tournament, but they’re far from satisfied, and they’re hoping to prove themselves even further in district and beyond.
“Even in the offseason of last year, they’ve had really high expectations of what we want to do and accomplish,” Merrell said. “They know that that’s a lot of work but they’re committed to getting better every day. This is unbelievable, but there’s still so many areas of growth that we need to and will address, but this comes from them. They want us to push them and that’s amazing as a coach.”
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