Lee College Lady Rebels volunteer at ‘Curt’s Kitchen’

Lee College Lady Rebels pose while volunteering at Curt's Kitchen
The Lee College Volleyball Team volunteered on the serving line and spent time this week with Mason, 5, and other children and families at Curt’s Kitchen, a ministry of Cedar Bayou Grace United Methodist Church in Baytown that provides a free weekly dinner to those in need. The Lady Rebels will begin competing in the San Jacinto College Tournament on Sept. 1, with home games set for Sept. 9 and 10 at the Lee College Sports Arena.

BAYTOWN, TX — The Lee College Volleyball Team brought their signature Lady Rebel spirit this week to the serving line and dinner tables at Curt’s Kitchen, a ministry of Cedar Bayou Grace United Methodist Church that provides a free meal every Wednesday to hundreds of the hungry in Baytown and surrounding communities.

Wearing aprons, plastic gloves and glittering visors, the student-athletes and their coaches joined church volunteers to dish up sausage, beans, buttered noodles, pie and drinks – then spent time posing for photos, signing autographs and personally inviting diners to see the team in action Saturday, Sept. 10, at the Lee College Sports Arena against the Coastal Bend College Cougars. Former-LEE, the Lee College alumni association, will host the free Redzone Tailgate Party for fans before the game.

“It’s important to give back to the community that gives us the privilege to coach and play the sport we love,” said Head Coach Tracie Johnson, noting how humbled the team felt by the warm reception they received. “What we are doing for them is so small; we gain so much more by being here. It shows the coaches and players how fortunate we are, and I think it will make all of us work even harder in appreciation of what we have.”

Nita Davis, who coordinates Curt’s Kitchen for Cedar Bayou Grace, said she enjoyed having the team serve and share time with the more than 100 people that come to eat each week at the Coat of Many Colors in Baytown, where the ministry hosts the dinner. The program operates strictly from donations and volunteer support, preparing dinners for crowds that can top 250 patrons.

As diners finished their plates and packed up free canned goods and loaves of bread to take home, the Lady Rebels cleared tables and chatted with Curt’s Kitchen children and families.

“I loved it,” said Hannah Larsen, a sophomore outside hitter and defensive specialist from Dickinson. “I met new people I wouldn’t otherwise have met, and it was special to see how appreciative they were to have us. It helps us remember how much we’re blessed.”

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

Lee College Lady Rebels win All-Region and All-Conference volleyball honors

Volleyball team
From left: Julia Mauer, Madison Otis, Allie Deese, Bethany Covington, and Shelby Wade. Not pictured: Alondra Bautista.

BAYTOWN, TX – Despite early injuries that threatened to derail the 2015-16 volleyball season when it had hardly begun, the Lee College Lady Rebels fought their way to a 22-10 overall record and regional and conference recognition for its high-performing student-athletes.

“We had a really good season,” said Head Coach Tracie Johnson, noting that many players learned multiple positions to be prepared to conquer any challenge they faced on the court. The team won the Midland College Tournament, Cedar Valley Tournament, Yavapai College Tournament and its own invitational en route to a second-round finish at the NJCAA Region XIV Tournament.

“Everybody came together and worked hard; everyone contributed,” Johnson said. “This team had great chemistry and a true love of the game. They had the passion.”

That passion and commitment to their sport led six Lady Rebels to NJCAA All-Region and All-Conference awards. Sophomore Alondra Bautista and freshman Madison Otis earned First Team honors; sophomore Allie Deese and freshman Shelby Wade earned a spot on the Second Team; and sophomores Julia Mauer and Bethany Covington earned Honorable Mention.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite center in nearby Liberty, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 13 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

St. Thomas signs two Lady Rebels

As the five most recent graduates from the Lady Rebel Volleyball Team prepare to embark on the next phase of their educational journeys, two student-athletes have signed on to continue playing the sport they love at the university level.

Lady Rebels
Lady Rebels Volleyball Head Coach Tracie Johnson (top left), Assistant Coach Paige Jenkins Sorge (top right), Candace Grosjean (bottom left) and Alyzabeth Vincent (bottom right).

Candace Grosjean and Alyzabeth Vincent will join the volleyball team at the University of St. Thomas in Houston after receiving their associate degrees from Lee College last weekend at spring commencement. Grosjean is a graduate of Robert E. Lee High School in Baytown, while Vincent graduated from Deer Park High School.

“We are really proud of this group — not only for what they’ve done in athletics, but also for all they have done in school,” said Head Coach Tracie Johnson, who became acquainted with Grosjean and Vincent when both girls were in the seventh grade and beginning to build their volleyball skills. “I will miss these ladies a lot.”

Grosjean and Vincent counted the exceptional athletic facilities at Lee College among the things they would miss most about the Lady Rebel volleyball program, along with their teammates and coaches and the feeling of playing in the Sports Arena. Both are looking forward to what the next chapter holds.

“It’s so exciting to be able to finish college and get to play volleyball while we’re doing it,” Grosjean said. “We’ll have a lot of chemistry on the court, and I’m happy that we will be able to play another 2 years together.”

Vincent agreed, adding, “We’re excited to play again and thankful for this opportunity.”