As the fall sports seasons at Woodlawn High begin, the Woodlawn Lady Panther Volleyball Team will be the first to take the courts. The Lady Panthers are looking to improve on last year’s 9-9 record in a season that was full of setbacks and delays.
Long-time Head Coach Nelson Malpica looks for leadership from six returning Lady Panthers. Leading the way is Junior Reagan McDowell, who was named to the 2020 All-District Team. Reagan will be joined by juniors Elyse Pitts and Marie Sierra, who look to add valuable experience to the Lady Panthers.
Senior Isabella Schamber and sophomores Branderia Graham and Kelis Conley are also expected to lead the Lady Panthers in the early parts of the season as other players gain experience.
“We need to work on improving early in the season, and hopefully peak in the playoffs,” said Malpica. “At the varsity level, we do not have a lot of depth aside from the six players we discussed. We will need others to step up on the varsity level.”
Coach Malpica looks to a talented freshman class, led by Lacie Sierra, to perhaps contribute early.
“Lacie played club and has experience from Woodlawn Middle. We think she can contribute very early in the season.”
The Lady Panthers are once again hosting two tournaments at Woodlawn. The Southland Invitational will be held September 3rd and 4th. The Rumble in the Jungle will be held September 24th and 25th. Outside of the tournaments, the Lady Panthers are looking forward to their District schedule as they look to improve from last year’s playoff experience.
The Lady Panthers will be on the court for the first action of the season in a scrimmage on Saturday, August 14th at 9 am. All tickets must be purchased online.
Season tickets can be purchased for the Lady Panthers by clicking here.
Yusra Chabayta ’18
The Lady Panthers volleyball team hosted “The Rumble in the Jungle” tournament on Friday, September 23rd at Woodlawn High School; matches started at 4:00pm, with new games beginning every 50 minutes until 8:10pm, when the last games of the night began. They continued playing matches on Saturday, September 24th, with games beginning at 8:00am. Bracket play began Saturday at 2:00 pm, with the Championship Game beginning at 7:20 pm. Games were played both days on three courts at Woodlawn High and another court at Woodlawn Middle.
Hannah Luker and Kennedi Barnes attempt a block during the Tara Tournament.
When asked before the tournament if the players were ready and excited about the tournament, Hannah Luker said, “Of course we are excited, but our tournaments are always a tough competition and allow us to challenge ourselves.”
Twenty-five teams from across Louisiana participated in the tournament. Each team was placed in a pool which contained five teams each. Teams played all of the teams in their pool and received points according to how many games they won. Once the pool games were over, the top fifteen teams from the five pools were seeded and bracket play began. The winner of The Rumble in the Jungle was determined by these games.
Woodlawn was placed in a pool with Byrd, Loranger, McDonogh 35, and St. James. The Lady Panthers finished their pool with a 3-1 record. Their first game versus Loranger was their only loss in pool play (23-25, 18-25). Woodlawn then defeated Byrd (25-22, 25-10), McDonogh 35 (25-3, 25-11), and St. James (25-18, 25-20). Winning three out of four games was enough to place Woodlawn High School as the second place team in their pool. The Lady Panthers were seeded seventh overall going into bracket play.
In bracket play, Woodlawn defeated West Feliciana in a hard fought contest by the score of 25-23 and 27-25, before falling in the second round to eventual tournament runner-up Ben Franklin. Fontainebleau High School finished the tournament with a perfect 7-0 record and walked away with the championship.
The Lady Panthers volleyball team was back in action twice during the week of September 12th. The Lady Panthers were able to achieve a 1-1 record during the week. On Monday, Woodlawn was scheduled to travel to Southern Lab, but due to scheduling conflicts, the game was moved to Woodlawn. The Lady Panthers took full advantage of the move to familiar turf, defeating Southern Lab by the score of three sets to zero.
After two days of practice, Woodlawn traveled to Zachary on Thursday for a match up with the Broncos. The Lady Panthers were not able to come up with the victory, as they fell to host Zachary one set to three.
Senior Kerri Williams led the Lady Panthers to a 1-1 record this week.
Senior Kerri Williams led the Lady Panthers with a great week. Williams recorded 27 kills, 16 assists, 8 digs, and 3 aces in the two matches. Senior Maya Johnson led the team with 25 assists during the week, and junior Kennedi Barnes led Woodlawn with 6 blocks.
The Lady Panthers return to action this weekend in the 2016 Tara Volleyball Classic. Woodlawn has been placed in Pool 4 along with Baker, Madison Prep, and Scotlandville. The Lady Panthers open the tournament Friday at 3:30 pm vs. Madison Prep on Court 2. On Saturday, Woodlawn will face Scotlandville at 8:45 am and Baker at 11:45 am, both on Court 2, before moving to play-offs at 2 pm.
After a good showing in the South Louisiana Invitational this weekend (2-2), the volleyball team dropped two in row this week.
On Wednesday, the Lady Panthers went five sets in a hard fought match against False River Academy. The Panthers won the first set, but lost the second. They fought back from 23-17 to win the third set 29-27. The Lady Panthers lost steam after winning a hard fought fourth set. False River finished off the match with a strong finish in the fifth.
On Thursday, the Lady Panthers squared off with Baton Rouge High. The Lady Panthers looked strong with a tremendous offensive effort by Kerri Williams who had 8 kills, four aces, along with a block, but it was not enough to overtake the strong offensive effort by the Bulldogs.
The Lady Panthers will see action this Monday at Southern Lab.