For junior defensive specialist Madison Woods, volleyball has always been a huge part of life. She has been playing the sport for nearly a decade.
The 20-year-old was born in San Antonio, Texas where she attended Tom C. Clark High School and was a four-year letter winner. She graduated high school in 2015 and thought she had everything figured out when she previously committed to attending New Mexico State. It wasn’t until she realized she wanted to stay a little bit closer to home when she discovered Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.
Woods first began playing volleyball back when she was just 10 years old. She always knew from the start of her young career that the sport would be something more than just an after-school activity.
“I knew at the age of 14 that I was going to be a college volleyball player,” Woods said. “I worked hard and was in club teams to make it happen.”
When Woods decided she no longer wanted to go to New Mexico, she decommitted and consulted Morgan Williams, someone who she played club volleyball with. Williams was already committed to the Islanders so she recommended Woods to check out the team and university.
“When I came to visit the campus, I absolutely fell in love,” Woods said. “I knew right then in that moment that I wanted to play for the Islanders, plus it would be closer to home.”
Coming to the Island was not so difficult for Woods because not only was she close to her family, but she would be playing with Williams once she got there.
“Being able to play with Madi is great,” Williams said. “She is so athletic and gets the team hyped up with her energy. I’m glad that we were actually able to get to play on the same team.”
Woods had been a star volleyball player since high school. She led her team, the Cougars, in second place at district and landed them a spot in regional finals during her senior season. In her final two seasons as a high school athlete, she helped the Cougars to a 62-26 record, which included a 36-11 record during her senior season. During her final season she registered 838 digs to go along with 46 aces. Woods was first-team all area while also being named to the Texas All-State Team and All-Star Blue team during her senior year.
Woods showed how much she wanted to be a college volleyball player in high school and continued to prove she was college-level material.
In 2016, Woods played defensive specialist for 29 matches, she recorded a career high of 251 digs on the year, added 10 aces on the service line and helped the Islanders to a second consecutive Southland Conference Championship and NCAA Tournament.
The Islanders are very familiar with each other this year. A significant portion of the roster is comprised of returning players.
“We have half returners this year, so the chemistry is great because we all know how we play,” Woods said. “The freshmen have also meshed really well with us as well so I’m excited to see how the rest of the season goes.”
The Islanders volleyball season is already initiated. Fans can come out and support Woods and the team at the home games at the Dugan Wellness Center. For more information visit goislanders.com.