Volleyball wins fifth consecutive district title


photo by Maggie Taylor

Senior Emily Lawrence sets the ball to Nyasha Mafarachisi against Plant City. The team would win, 3-0.

For the fifth consecutive year, the girls varsity volleyball team established their dominance at the 7A District 4 Championship on Oct. 16 over Timber Creek, 3-1(25-16, 25-17, 22-25, 25-22). The new district did not present any trouble as they finished the regular season with a 21-6 record, including a huge win over Leon, the top-ranked team in the state.

“Knowing that this was going to be five in a row, it gave us a lot of motivation to go out and win this one,” junior Kyla Mullen said.

Since playing Timber Creek earlier in the season, head coach Juanita Hitt prepared the team for their defense by staying committed to their game plan and keeping the ball away from their middles.

“Mixing it up and working different hitting angles helped us win,” senior Emily Lawrence said. “We had to stay focused on our plan because they always bring out a big crowd.”

Lawrence led the team with 34 assists, 22 digs and 2 kills, along with junior Alina Carrillo and senior Jessica Buis, who had nine kills each, and junior Alondra Garcia, who had 14 digs.

The program has produced multiple Division I players in the last five years, including this seniors Audrey Douglas and Emily Lawrence, an Auburn and Central Florida commit, respectively. With this talent, Hitt has stayed consistent in leading them to district championships.

“We have a wealth of talent and we work hard,” Hitt said. “In our gym we try to emphasize working hard and focusing on drills that help us win games.”

On Oct. 4-5, the team traveled to Phoenix, Arizona to play in the NIKE Tournament of Champions, and placed seventh out of 96 nationally-ranked teams. The team built their chemistry throughout the five days they spent in Arizona, and it ultimately led to great performance after the trip.

“We played highly competitive volleyball in Arizona,” Hitt said. “We played 21 games in two days because we took everyone to three sets, and there was nothing but good teams out there. It was good for us.”

Hagerty will host the regional quarterfinal on Oct. 23. Their opponent has yet to be determined.

“We are going to play our version of fast tempo volleyball, not our opponents’,” Hitt said.


2019 FHSAA Volleyball State Championships 7A FHSAA Girls Volleyball