Editor’s note: This is the seventh in a 10-part series looking back at the biggest athletic stories at Wiley College during the 2019-20 school year.

No. 4

Wiley’s volleyball team finished the season with an overall record of 17-11 and went 10-2 in Red River Athletic Conference play as it earned a first-round bye into the conference tournament for the first time in six years.

This achievement came despite losing four of their top producers from 2018.

Help arrived for the Lady Wildcats in 2019, including from four freshmen.

“Alexia Souza and Renata Da Silva really stepped up huge all season,” said Mike MacNeill, Wiley head volleyball coach in 2019. “They were the leaders of our team. They were the captains last year and they helped just to navigate the team to be more mature, to elevate the play on the court and to hold the standard for what is right and what is wrong.

“There were several bright moments, like seeing several freshmen make big impacts on the team, from the Williams – Hailie and Kailie -- Merritt Elder was a key defensive player and Marissa Neal came in and did a lot of great things.

“There were a lot of great things. The senior class and the freshman class were both really influential and impactful on the team.”

MacNeill said his team fought through a lot of adversity to overcome obstacles.

“We kept fighting to continue to give our best and to be the best versions of ourselves consistently in practice and also through the games and being more prepared on confident,” he offered.

Souza, Ty Johnson and Khrystyna Scott all earned first-team all-conference honors. Neal, Teleza Collier, Alia Scott and Kailie Williams all earned second-team honors.

The Lady Wildcats’ volleyball season came to an end when they were upset by third-seeded Our Lady of the Lake in the semifinals.