Trinity Christian Academy’s volleyball team on Saturday placed first in Detroit ISD’s tournament, surprising not only their own school but other teams involved. 

Detroit was in its second year of hosting the annual tournament, and while its own gym floors were being refurbished, the team needed a gym to host play. The gym was found at Trinity Christian Academy, which had just finished construction on the new facility. So, Detroit rented the space and entered the Trinity Lady Warriors in the tournament.

“Because we were the only private school in the Detroit tournament and we are such a small school, it was intimidating to play against the other teams. I felt like we were the underdogs going into the tournament,” said Caroline Smallwood, team captain.

Chalk it up to nerves, but the Lady Warriors lost their first game in the tournament against Tom Bean on Thursday. But the team rallied and defeated Dodd City, which secured the Lady Warriors second place in the gold bracket.

On Saturday, they took on and defeated Trenton to earn a spot in the championship game. The Lady Warriors acknowledged just getting that far was a huge achievement for them. 

They came out strong for the tournament’s final game, taking the first match. A few errors cost them a victory in the second match, setting up a must-win third match. The audience roared as the Lady Warriors claimed the final point to win the tournament.

“We went by the word ‘fearless,’ as in don’t be scared of anything, just go out and play with our hearts,” said Kendall Boles, another player on the team. “We couldn’t have done it without our coaches, Coach Jones and Coach Smallwood, or our cheer section. I’m just super pumped for the season.”

Despite the surprise of players, the Lady Warriors’ coaches were not at all surprised by the way the team played.  

“The team just doesn’t quit. Their heart and head is in the game the whole time. I knew they had it in them,” said Tamara Smallwood, assistant coach. 

“As soon as we got in the gym last week, I recognized that this team was a cohesive group. They just absolutely don’t quit. They fight for every point. That fight was what made the difference tonight. I am so proud of them,” head coach Susan Jones said.

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