GOLIAD — The first member of Goliad’s 2020 state runner-up team signed her letter of intent on Wednesday.

Senior defensive specialist Julia Morris signed to play volleyball at Victoria College, becoming the latest member of the Morris family to continue their playing careers at the collegiate level.

The VC coaches had kept an eye on the talent in Goliad, and Morris attended a tryout with the Pirates in January 2020. After attending the tryout, Morris knew she wanted to play for the Pirates.

“I had always really liked their school and always thought they were a good school to go to,” Morris said. “I hope that I get a lot of playing time and get to make my family proud, coming from a lot of volleyball athletes.”

Morris was on varsity for three years at Goliad and played a large part in the Tigerettes reaching the Class 3A state championship.

Morris finished her senior year with 446 digs, 21 assists, 27 blocks and 95 aces, earning first team all-district recognition in District 29-3A and was named second team all-area.

Despite falling 3-0 to Bushland in the final, Morris was proud to continue Goliad’s legacy in volleyball.

“To get past that regional final and get to state meant so much to all of us,” Morris said. “Even though we came out with a loss, it was still great being there with my teammates.”

Morris said she will miss her teammates, as well as Goliad head coach Jess Odem, her aunt, yelling at her constantly during practice.

Odem cherished getting to coach Morris and strengthen their connection the last three years. She is proud Morris will continue playing in college.

“I just told her it wasn’t going to be easy but anything is possible,” Odem said. “As long as you get an opportunity to put your foot in the door, get started. That’s all that matters. So wherever you go, just do your best at what you can do.”

With only one local player on the roster — Victoria West grad Michaela Willborn — VC had an interest in recruiting local talent. They found that in Morris, someone who could come in and immediately have an impact on the team.

“We’re a two-year program, so they’ve got to be ready from day one to come in because I don’t have four years to get them ready to play,” said Victoria College head coach Josh Moore. “She played at a high level. They had tough competition all the way through during their state run, so we knew she’d be ready for us to start playing here in August.”

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