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The Dispatch

The student news site of James Bowie High School

The Dispatch

The student news site of James Bowie High School

The Dispatch

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Fabulous freshman making her mark

Volleyball star Jazzlyn Hepburn has made an immediate impact for varsity Lady ‘Dawgs
ATTACK+AND+KILL%3A+Freshman+Jazzlyn+Hepburn+goes+up+for+the+kill+against+the+Lake+Travis+Cavaliers.+The+Lady+%E2%80%98Dawgs+ended+up+losing+to+the+Cavaliers+in+three+straight+sets%2C+3-0.+
Nick Wood
ATTACK AND KILL: Freshman Jazzlyn Hepburn goes up for the kill against the Lake Travis Cavaliers. The Lady ‘Dawgs ended up losing to the Cavaliers in three straight sets, 3-0.

Eyes intently locked on the ball floating through the air, freshman outside hitter Jazzlyn Hepburn tenses her legs and explodes into the air. Trusting her muscle memory, Hepburn mechanically strikes through the ball and scores yet another kill. Despite being a freshman, Hepburn leads the Lady Dawgs’ in total kills.

Currently 21-11, the Lady ‘Dawgs success is due in a big way to Hepburn’s offensive contributions. That success has lightened the load of the pressure felt by the underclassman prior to the season.

“Going into the season I was nervous,” Hepburn said. “I think connecting with a few teammates coming into Bowie helped me a lot. Talking to Simone Baskin helped me feel more at home and made me feel that Bowie was the right place for me. Also having another freshman on varsity made me way more comfortable with the position I am in.”

The Lady ‘Dawgs began their season going 8-1 in the first nine matches. Including match sweeps against LASA, St. Andrews, and El Paso. The team began district play on August 29, with the final regular season game being October 24 versus Dripping Springs, before the playoffs start.

“It’s been a great experience playing for Bowie so far,” Hepburn said. “We have an amazing team that works hard every day, and we continue to improve and grow as a team.”

Hepburn follows a very rigorous schedule. On top of representing the Lady ‘Dawgs, Hepburn plays club volleyball and runs competitive track. She also attends several camps and clinics to create exposure for herself to college coaches.

“My strengths are hitting and my vertical jump,” Hepburn said. “I also consider myself to be a very good teammate, I love hyping up my teammates and I always try to bring the best energy possible.”

Hepburn began playing volleyball in 4th grade. She started playing recreational volleyball before joining a club team, where she has played ever since.

“Bowie gives me a new opportunity outside of club volleyball,” Hepburn said. “I get to play with different people of different ages. It is great meeting new people I would have never met playing just club.”

On August 15, Bowie defeated Hays 3-0 in straight sets. This was the team’s first non-district away game. Hepburn started the season strong by leading the team with 11 kills in the win.

“Beating Hays was a super good confidence booster,” Hepburn said. “The student sections were so loud which made the environment so much fun to play in. The team came together and played really well.”

Baskin is a junior and co-captain playing in her second year on varsity for the ‘Dawgs. She is a middle blocker and has been a mentor for some of the younger players throughout the season, including Hepburn.

“My favorite moment of this season was at our away tournament where we played a game called Hot Seat,” Baskin said. “It was a fun way to learn each other’s deepest secrets by answering questions honestly. It for sure translated to the court as we built great chemistry from it.”

Being a volleyball captain comes with a lot of responsibilities and expectations. Baskin uses her status as a captain to help the team improve by setting an example for her teammates. With two freshmen on varsity, Baskin’s role as a captain is very important in providing them with the necessary support and confidence needed for them to play at their best.

“Jazz has impressed me a lot,” Baskin said. “She always takes feedback really well and makes adjustments to always get better. As a player, she is so fun to be around and her bubbly energetic personality makes her really fun to be around. She finds so much success because of her effort. She always goes one hundred percent in practice, all gas no breaks.”

After struggling last season, the Lady ‘Dawgs turned to a new coach to hopefully bridge the gap and help the team improve. Head coach Danna Wincher has nearly doubled the win total from last year with several games to go.

“The team has performed well so far,” Wincher said. “We still have a lot of room for improvement. Our team is very passionate about the game which keeps me very optimistic.”

Led by Hepburn, the team has four games left in districts before the playoffs begin. Wincher believes that Hepburn’s talent as a freshman will translate to future success for herself and the program.

“Jazzlyn has impressed me a lot so far, her power and her vertical jump as well as her dedication makes her such a great player,” Wincher said. “She wants to be great and will be.”

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