From Rebuilding to Rerunning

Marko Barrera, Co-Managing Editor

After proving that they can succeed even after losing multiple members of the team, the Lady Jags are back with a completely different, hungrier mindset. 

   Last year, the girl’s varsity volleyball team faced heavy hardships. This included the loss of five seniors, which were replaced with lots of talented young blood. That being said, last season became the first stepping stone in the team’s rebuilding process. When a team is in the rebuilding process, the primary goal isn’t necessarily to win trophies or stay undefeated, but to improve as a team and to develop the young players, getting them closer to reaching their highest potential. Simply put, the main objective is to be the best versions of themselves, day in and day out. 

   Even with this, last season they still managed to win the district championship versus Nova High. Moreover, they were able to reach the regional round before losing to Lourdes Academy. They proved that, even with a mindset that didn’t place winning at the top of their priorities, they can still manage to bring hardware back to the Jag Den. After last season, they only lost 2 seniors, yet they were very big ones, losing their primary libero in Morgan Lind and their starting middle blocker in Shravya Sareddy.

   With the few losses heading into this year, senior Danelli Mejia shared her thoughts on one of the main advantages the team has this year: “This would be our second season together since there were only three new girls added,” she said, “So I know we already have good chemistry.” As she mentioned, their three new players include two juniors, including a fresh middle blocker in Athena Gijo. 

   The new players and the team were able to make their home debut of the season this past Tuesday, August 23, versus the Western High Wildcats. Coach Andres used this opportunity to try out different lineups that might work out over the course of the season. Despite the 3-0 loss, the girls felt good about being back and playing on our home court, with a packed crowd cheering them on with each point. 

   Lots of improvement is sure to be seen from the team, especially from the current juniors. Junior Sarah Schnell even explained her improvement over the summer as well as the importance of having a strong mental state. “All summer, I played in nationals, as well as for Team Florida for the second time,” she mentioned. “I also improved my mental game and believe it can be a key factor in close games.”

   Moreover, for the future of this team, they know that expectations are there from Coach as well as the fans, and even the players. Nonetheless, a rally of a season is sure to be witnessed for the Lady Jags this Fall.