Visiting varsity beats host Anderson in volleyball version of Taco Shack Bowl

After storming to 2-0 lead, Knights outlast Trojan comeback to prevail in five-sets


Bella Russo

Junior Alexa Fannin spikes the ball between two Anderson defenders during the Knights’ 3-2 victory over the Trojans at Anderson on Friday night. Fannin, who played for Anderson last year as a sophomore, had eight of the Knights’ 51 kills for the match. Photo by Bella Russo.

Gregory James, photo editor

The gym is silent; all that can be heard is the sound of the ball being volleyed back and forth across the net. An Anderson player dives for a ball but misses it, resulting in an early point for the Knights in the fifth and final set of a tight match. The McCallum crowd in attendance shouts at the top of its lungs. McCallum had won the first two sets, 25-20 and 25-21, but then conceded the next two sets to Anderson, 25-18 and 25-14, in this annual non-district meeting of the two teams.

KNIGHTIME: The Varsity volleyball team huddles up after their game and celebrates the win they had against Anderson this past Friday. The Knights won 3-2 against Rival Anderson. Photo by Gregory James.

McCallum principal Mike Garrison is in attendance and so is Taco Shack Owner Orlando Arriaga. The tension is palpable in the gym as the fifth and tie-breaking set unfolds. In volleyball, regular games are to 25, but a tie-breaking set is to 15. The teams trade points for the first couple of points, then McCallum starts to pull away at the fifth point. As the Knights get closer to 15 points, the disappointment in the Anderson fans becomes more and more apparent. The Knights win the last set 15-11. When the last point seals the victory, the McCallum bench and the players on the court erupt into celebration. Senior libero Lindsey Wiley leads the team in breaking out of the huddle, and the celebration of the team in this moment is joyous.

TRIUMPH OVER TROJANS: The Lady Knights played the Anderson Trojans in their annual game against the team. This was the first year for coach Amy Brodbeck to beat Anderson. The Knights won 25-20, 25-21, 18-25, 14-25 and 15-11. The Knights host Rockdale tomorrow at 7 p.m. Photo by Gregory James.

For one of the players on the team, Alexa Fannin, this win was very meaningful. Last year, Fannin was a sophomore at Anderson High school and played on the team there. “We played really well,” Fannin said. “We played really well, and it feels good to win.”

This win against Anderson was the most exciting moment so far for the girls and for me.”

— Head coach Amy Brodbeck

Coach Amy Brodbeck said the win was a landmark moment for the volleyball program. In all the years she has been coaching, she coached a team that has beaten Anderson … until Friday night.

“This win against Anderson was the most exciting moment so far for the girls and for me,” Coach Brodbeck said. “It was a huge moment for our seniors Lindsey (Wiley) and Claire (Caudill) to win this game their senior year.”

Wiley, who leads the team on the court as the libero, expressed gratitude toward her teammates in the team huddle immediately after the game. “Thank y’all for beating them my senior year,” she told them.

The Knights have been playing Anderson during the non-district regular season since 2016. The Knights hosted the first meeting, then in 2017, the teams competed on neutral ground at the Delco Athletic Center.  And then on Friday, they battled on Anderson’s home turf.

The Lady Knights stopped the Trojans a lot on defense, with 79 digs on the night. Wiley led the team with 28 digs and 38 serves received.  On offense, sophomore Preslie Boswell led the team with 18 kills, and senior Claire Caudill dished out a team-high 20 assists. Sophomore Sophia Henderson served a team-high three aces to go along with 16 assists. The Lady Knights next face Rockdale at McCallum, a team that they have played early this year in the Bastrop ISD Classic. They will be looking to avenge win this match after losing the last one to Rockdale 2-1.

With reporting by Bella Russo. 

JUMPING FOR JOY: The team celebrates as they win a crucial set to go up 2-0 against Anderson. The lady Knights won their game 3-2 in the end over rival Anderson last Friday night. Photo by Selena De Jesus.


BLOCK PARTY: Junior Alexa Fannin and freshman Grace Werkenthin jump up to block an Anderson volley in the Knights’ 3-2 win road over rival Anderson. Werkenthin led the team in solo blocks with 2. Photo by Selena De Jesus.