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Several Waxahachie Lady Indians show their support of senior libero Brennan Ramirez by holding their "Horns up" following a third-place finish in the Methodist Mansfield Medical Center Invitational (Courtesy Waxahachie ISD Athletics)

Ramirez announces UT volleyball commitment following Waxahachie’s stellar tourney run in Mansfield

By Travis M. Smith | Ellis County Sports

MANSFIELD — A Division-I commitment to a perennial national power capped a wildly successful opening weekend for the Waxahachie Lady Indian volleyball team. 

Saturday ended with (8-2) Waxahachie sweeping district rival (8-2) Mansfield to finish in third place of the Championship Bracket in the annual Methodist Mansfield Medical Center Invitational hosted by Mansfield ISD. 

As if the team photo with the team’s new hardware wasn’t already a dead giveaway, senior libero Brennan Ramirez officially announced her verbal commitment to the University of Texas at Austin on Sunday afternoon. 

Ramirez was named to the Mansfield Medical Center Invitational all-tournament team following Waxahachie’s 7-2 run and third-pace finish over the opening weekend. The 5-foot-2 senior libero has already recorded 145 digs and broken 175 serves through 25 sets this season — both nearly one-quarter of her season numbers for 2022. She has also sent home 18 aces after recording 45 as a junior. 

“First and foremost, I want to thank God for blessing me with this opportunity and using me as a vessel for His plan,” stated Ramirez in her social media announcement. “Dad, my rock, thank you for pushing me past limits I thought I could never reach. You have the most faith in me through thick and thin and made me the player I am today.

“I want to thank my mother for always being my emotional support system and my own little doctor. She is always there to hold my hand and support me through every decision I make, the best mom I could ask for! I’d also like to give thanks to the rest of my family, who supported me my entire life and my brother and sister.”

Ramirez closed by thanking high school head coaches Sandy Faussett-Stoops and Erika Weber, club head coaches Hank and Nick Moore, UT head coach Jerritt Elliot and his assistants Erik Sullivan and David Hunt. 

The Longhorns enter the 2023 season as the favorites to repeat as champions of the Big 12, which comes as no surprise considering the program won its 4th NCAA national championship in 2022. UT has 14 NCAA Final 4 appearances as a program.

According to a UT press release, the Longhorn volleyball program has lost just 10 conference matches since 2011 and won 6 consecutive Big 12 titles. 

The program currently has 4 liberos on the roster, with redshirt senior Carissa Barnes slated to graduate in 2024. 

For anyone who has followed Waxahachie volleyball over the past few years, Ramirez is set to join near-household names and former foes like Asjia O’Neal (Carroll) and Molly Phillips (Mansfield). 

TOURNAMENT RUN

The Lady Indians began their run by sweeping North Richland Hills and Fort Worth Timber Creek on Thursday afternoon. They then rallied for a three-set win against Frisco Memorial (25-19, 15-25, 25-11) to cap day one. Migdaly Bernal led the side with 13 kills on 29 swings in the match, while Ashlyn Cavazos led the team with 16 assists. 

Day two started the same as the first — with a pair of Waxahachie sweeps, this time against Coppell and always-tough Hewitt Midway. The Lady Indians fell to Bushland in three (25-19, 19-25, 16-25) but had already secured its place in Saturday’s championship bracket. 

Waxahachie fell to defending state champion and 5A No. 1 Colleyville Heritage (12-25, 22-25) in the tournament semifinal to open Saturday play. Colleyville went on to defeat El Paso Coronado to win the tournament title. 

The Lady Indians returned to the court to sweep district-rival Mansfield (25-23, 25-22) and secure its third-place finish in the Methodist Mansfield Medical Center Invitational. 

Tionna Owens (8) and Bernal (7) set the tone above the net for the Lady Indians in their final tourney win, benefitting from Cavazos’ 14 assists and 6 more by Allie Gilliland. 

UP NEXT

The Lady Indians return home for a three-team showcase Tuesday against Joshua (7:30 p.m.) and Granbury (9:30 p.m.) at Mike Turner Gymnasium on the Waxahachie High School campus.

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Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith

tsmith@elliscosports.com

About Travis M. Smith

Travis M. Smith is the owner and content director of Ellis County Sports and has over a decade of award-winning sports coverage. He most recently served as the digital sports director for KBEC 1390AM/99.1FM. He is the former managing editor of the Waxahachie Daily Light, Midlothian Mirror and Glen Rose Reporter.

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