Beach volleyball dominates SAC, finishes undefeated

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Junior Hope Lusher dives in front of junior teammate Lauren Andres to dig a returning ball.

The beach volleyball team rounded out their season on May 5 with a 4-1 win over Lake Mary, ending undefeated and as SAC champions. A domination of Oviedo, 5-0, a couple days before set the stage for the championship moment. 

Head coach Juanitta Hitt led the team to an undefeated 7-0 regular season, with all their pairs holding winning records, and with headline wins against Lyman and Lake Brantley early in the year, it was clear that this team was the favorite heading into the biggest event of the year, the April 28 SAC tournament.

Seniors Alina Carrillo and Madison Drewry took first place in the Open division, and juniors Hope Lusher and Lauren Andres took first in the Divisional division. The top two pairs for each school compete in the Open division, where the third and fourth pairs participate in the Divisional division. 

Most players on the team participate in indoor club volleyball as well, which consists of six players on the court at once. Since beach volleyball is only two players, chemistry is more important than ever.

“Our attack plan was to focus on communication and being strategic with our shots,” Lusher said.

This has obviously worked for Lusher and Andres, as they were 5-0 heading into the tournament. 

Other worthy performances on the team came from freshmen Mayte Camacho and Abby Mas, who placed fourth in the Open division and senior and freshman sister team Alondra and Alana Garcia placed second in the Divisional division.

“If there’s no trust in your partner, it’s not going to work out,” Alana said. “With my sister being my partner, my communication skills have improved significantly.”

Starting next school year, beach volleyball will be an FHSAA-sanctioned sport in the spring as well, which will lead to tougher district schedules, playoffs, and ultimately, another state championship. And with an undefeated season and SAC championship under their belt, they have nowhere to go but up. 

“Since I have more experience from this year I want to see how that plays out against the tougher teams,” Camacho said. 

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