Before the season, it seemed as if the varsity volleyball team would have a somewhat underwhelming season in comparison to years prior. However, these speculations were proven inaccurate, as the Saints recently ended their season with a 20-9 record and a devastating loss in the Regional Semifinals to Florida State University High School.
A Regional Semifinals appearance is impressive in itself, but the fact that the Saints were able to make it that far with such a young team is something that doesn’t happen often. The team consisted of two middle schoolers, two freshmen, four sophomores, two juniors and only two seniors. While it is very uncommon to have middle schoolers making an impact on varsity level teams, these two weren’t fazed by the opportunity.
“They don’t get stressed out,” second year Head Coach Terri Kruczek said. “They handle any adversity so well and they don’t get emotional or let their feelings affect their play.”
Much of the team’s success can be credited to the two senior captains, Alexis Moore and Isabella Brady, who have made a noticeable impact in the development of the younger players.
“Isabella and I were some of the younger ones on the team last year,” Moore said. “This year, we are the oldest ones on a team with a seventh and eighth grader, so it is definitely different because they have so far to go until they will be as old as we are, so we can’t treat them the same way as we do with the older players, so we have to be mindful of that.”
In addition to the impact of the younger players, much of the team’s success came from their two stars, Jordan Hardy and Isabella Brady.
“They play an active role on every point,” Kruczek said. “In my opinion, they’re defense is the best in Central Florida. I would compare them to any duo in the state and I would say that I have the best two.”
After an impressive season, the team will look to continue their success next season.
“The future is bright for the team because the younger players really stepped up this year and I know they will continue to improve next season,” Hardy said.