The Heights Lady Bulldog varsity volleyball team currently sits in third place behind unbeaten Bellaire and Westside who only has one loss which they suffered to Bellaire in 6A Region III District 18. Last season the Lady Bulldogs finished second, but lost in the playoffs in three straight sets to Cypress Creek. However, with rising seniors who show great leadership and skill, Coach Chelsea Lewis is hoping she has the pieces this year to overcome the Bellaire hurdle as well as the early playoff exit.
Leading the Lady Bulldogs this year is three-year letterman and volleyball standout, Asa Owens.
“She’s my captain, leader and quarterback of our team,” said Lewis. “Everything runs through Asa. All of the ideas, all of our sets, all of our offense comes through her and she does an amazing job every single night.”
Entering her senior season, Owens has big shoes to fill, but she is ready for the challenge.
“She’s an amazing student-athlete. She works very hard in practice all the time and then she transitions that to the court, which I can really appreciate,” said Lewis. “Last season she played behind Madison Hess, my 6-feet-2 setter and we played a five one and a six two.”
Hess is now playing at Houston Christian University.
“Working under Madison gave me a lot of guidance and seeing where she’s at now inspires me to get there,” said Owens.
Owens began playing volleyball at 11 years old. Before she was known as a volleyball player, she was testing the waters with dance and track and field.
“I was fit, I was healthy, I made good times, but I was not the fastest girl,” said Owens. “I started as a long-distance runner, running the 800-meter dash and then I worked down from 800-meters, to 400-meters, to 4×400-meters, to 4×100-meters then down to a sprint.”
Before her high school days, Owens attended Baylor College of Medicine Academy at Ryan Middle School, a school that didn’t have a volleyball team. While attending Baylor Owens signed up for an outside volleyball camp, where she was first introduced to the sport. In her search for a team sport Owens’ took her athleticism from track and applied it to volleyball.
“I tried out and attended camps at Willowbrook Volleyball Academy where I played for three years. While there, my skills improved and I went from the lowest local team to the highest national team,” said Owens. “After that, I went to Absolute Volleyball Academy where I’ve been playing for the past two years.
It was Owens’ improved skills that helped her become the leader she is today on the volleyball court.
“I feel like playing club volleyball gave me a lot of leadership skills and a lot of awareness and ability to really just take charge on the court,” said Owens.
Last season while playing in a club tournament Owens aggravated the sciatica nerve in her back, forcing her to sit out the tournament and only support her team through her presence.
“We had a lot of really strong competition that tournament, so I felt down. But I knew that my teammates would still compete,” said Owens.
This year Owen’s goal is to help will her team to a deep playoff run, while gaining a few looks from collegiate programs who are looking for a proven leader on their team.
“I’m uncommitted at the moment, but I’m looking for a program with strong leadership and people who share the same passion that I do because it’s very easy to get on a high-level team and then be surrounded by people who don’t share your same drive and passion for the team,” said Owens.
While in college Owens hopes to study either biology or chemistry or take a pre-nursing route.
“I’ve always been fascinated by medicine. Dr. Desiree Evans, Dr. Marsha Johnson and Dr. Camillie Cash are all women who have seen me grow through life and advised me along the way. So, seeing them perform in that way has guided me to this path,” said Owens.
When asked what advice she would give the next generation of volleyball hopefuls, Owens offered these encouraging words.
“Take charge of how much you want to grow. If you want to grow, then you must put in a certain level of work, and that work may require you to go over film when other people are going out or having sleepovers. Be ready to dedicate that time to growing into your craft.”
About Asa Owens
Height & weight: 5-feet-6, 145 pounds
Players she studies: Kami Miner (Stanford)
Favorite artists: Brent Faiyaz, Kehlani, Drake
Favorite subject: History
Shout-outs: Coach Jodie, Coach Lewis, Mom