Ponte Vedra’s girls volleyball team claimed its first state championship in school history after defeating powerhouse Bishop Moore of Orlando Saturday, Nov. 18, at the University of North Florida.
The Class 6A state title match between the Sharks (25-5) and the Hornets (23-8) went down to the wire, with Ponte Vedra ultimately winning 26-24, 13-25, 25-23, 14-25 and 15-11. The victory represented revenge for the Sharks after the team lost to the Hornets in the state title match in 2016.
“It was awesome,” said Sharks head coach Robin Mignerey. “More of knowing what a powerhouse Bishop Moore is … There’s a Kentucky commit on the team, a Florida commit on the team. We don’t have any of those big superstars. You see that, and we really do look like an underdog. That makes me so much more proud.”
Gabby Keller and Paige Johnson each finished with 12 kills for the Sharks, while Lily Kinder and Erika Hendrickson each finished with eight. Kinder additionally contributed four blocks. Sophia Ervanian led the team in digs with 23, and also added an ace. Eve Beech contributed 15 digs and an ace. Savannah Fowler had 46 assists.
Mignery said her team’s depth was a significant factor in the win over Bishop Moore and its success throughout the season, noting that she ultimately had a lineup of 10 girls that could take the court at any time and make a difference. The Sharks’ coach also said the girls learned throughout the season to be patient and wait for the opportunity to capitalize on the other team’s errors. That’s what happened against Bishop Moore in the fifth set, she said, and the Sharks took advantage.
“I think they’re obviously, genuinely excited,” said Mignery about her team’s reaction to the win. “It was crazy. People were celebrating … It’s pretty sweet.”