Faith Academy's Wilkinson makes her presence known
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This season the Faith Academy Lady Cougars volleyball team has an extra spark provided by junior middle blocker Maegan Wilkinson.
Wilkinson missed the majority of the 2011 season with a knee injury. In 2012 her presence has made a difference.
"You can notice when Maegan walks into the game the attitude just completely changes, the momentum completely changes," said second year Faith Academy coach Toni Parkman. "Once she gets a couple of kills, we're just going."
Things were looking promising for Wilkinson coming into the 2011 season.
She was returning for a sophomore season after helping the Lady Cougars win a share of the TAPPS 8-2A championship in and a berth in the playoffs in 2010.
Her play helped her earn an honorable mention on the Advocate All-Area Volleyball team.
Her sophomore season came to a premature end on when she tore an ACL and meniscus in a non-district game against Victoria East.
She sat and watched as the Lady Cougars were eliminated from the TAPPS area playoffs for the second straight year.
"It was very hard and I would cry after every game asking why I couldn't play, but I just knew that my team pushed themselves really hard and they got really far last year with or without me," Wilkinson said.
After having surgery and going through 10 months of rehabilitation, she returned to the team this season.
With her Faith Academy swept Class 4A Austin Eastside Memorial 25-5, 25-15, 25-5 at home on Tuesday night.
"I thank God every day for giving me a second chance to play," Wilkinson said after the match.
Brittney Church had 20 assists, Gabbie Torres led the team with eight kills and Sarah Alex added four digs.
The win improves Faith Academy's record to 10-8 on the season, including a 1-0 mark in TAPPS 6-2A.
Church, a junior setter, said having Wilkinson up front has given the Lady Cougars another offensive option this year.
"It's a big difference having another hitter to be able to put down the ball," Church said.
Although she's coached Wilkinson for less than two full seasons, Parkman has noticed her development as a player this season.
"It seems like she learns every year and her coachability is just improving," Parkman said. "I have huge expectations for her this year."
Wilkinson and the Lady Cougars will try for their second district win on Friday when they host the Christian Academy of San Antonio. The varsity match is scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m.