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HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL: Compass Academy prepares for first varsity season - Odessa American: OA Varsity

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HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL: Compass Academy prepares for first varsity season

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Posted: Thursday, August 6, 2020 9:32 pm

The Odessa Compass Academy volleyball team has been playing at the junior varsity level the past two seasons, waiting for its chance to compete on a larger stage.

That moment has nearly arrived for the Lady Cougars, who are preparing to embark on their first season of varsity competition.

Head coach Christina Bush says that having something to play for other than experience is one of the things that she’s looking forward to the most.

“I’m beyond excited,” Bush said. “This season, I’ve been talking to the girls about what it’s like to try to make the playoffs, be in the top four, to bring home a gold ball and how amazing that would be to bring that to our school.

“Being able to show them now what I was talking about is phenomenal.”

Compass Academy, a charter school, will begin its inaugural varsity season in District 5-3A with Crane, Coahoma, Big Lake Reagan County and Sonora.

Like their head coach, the players also share that eagerness and anticipation to get back on the court.

“I think our team is really good,” junior middle blocker Kinzee Jamierson said. “I’m super excited because we’ve all really worked hard for this.”

Jamierson is the lone junior on the team’s initial varsity roster that also consists of six sophomores and two freshmen. Having her experience is something that Bush will lean on in the early stages.

“She is always pushing herself to be better than the day before,” Bush said. “She’s very vocal, has a lot of energy and just brings a positive vibe every day.”

The Lady Cougars also will rely on sophomore outside hitter Kyra Ayers, the team’s captain, to lead the way and provide that calming presence.

“Kyra brings that calmness and strength that we’re going to need coming into this year,” Bush said. “Being that it’s our first year and it’s all new and we needed someone that was going to be pretty steady and she’s proved herself to be that person.”

Ayers echoed her coach’s sentiment and said that it would be the team’s biggest strength early on.

“We just have a really positive attitude and we bring each other up a lot,” Ayers said. “I feel like we’ve put a lot of good things together.

“We just have a few things to work on but it’s been pretty good so far.”

Just being able to take the court is something that everyone is grateful for after the UIL sent out revised dates back on July 21 as to when schools can return to practice and compete.

Schools from Class 1A-4A were able to start as originally scheduled while Class 5A and 6A were delayed for another month. Bush added that her team has been able to handle the changes well.

“I always preach about challenges, journeys and difficulties and how those moments define us after high school and throughout life,” she said. “It’s just taking what we have and accepting it, adjusting and moving forward.”

“I think the girls have really handled it maturely and have complied with everything possible.”

The Lady Cougars take the court for their first scrimmage today at Snyder before opening the regular season Aug. 14 with a dual match against Big Spring and Monahans.

The first home match is scheduled for Aug. 22 against Ropesville Ropes.

Compass Academy did face varsity teams during its two-year build up to this point and the team feels that experience can only help early in the season.

“It’ll make a big difference this year,” Ayers said. “We played a few varsity teams last year and kept up with them pretty well and it just helps a lot being able to know what we’re going up against.”

The other challenge will be keeping the emotions in check and Bush is confident her team will be ready to play on a bigger stage.

“For my girls to work so hard to earn this opportunity is phenomenal,” she said. “It’s going to be exciting no matter what the circumstances are.

“We’re going to be ready to play.”

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