Sharks fend off Senators for district title

Secure home court for another playoff push

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The Ponte Vedra Sharks swept the Fletcher Senators, 27-25, 25-20, 25-13, to win the District 4-6A Volleyball Championship Oct. 21.

“We’ve fought so hard this past year, and it’s all about continuing the legacy after winning states the past two years,” junior Zeta Washington said. “We just always want more, and that’s our drive that keeps us winning.”

With the win, the Sharks have secured home court throughout the regional competition.

“I feel like it will definitely be good for us, because this is our gym, and we’re just comfortable here,” junior Jessica Shattles said. “Obviously, our fans also bring a lot of energy.”

It was a hard-fought contest early on as the Senators (20-8) came out fired up and ready to play.

Fletcher’s players and coaches were filled with intensity and emotion with every point they won as they opened a 16-12 lead in the opening set.

However, the Sharks’ championship grit came to the forefront following a timeout by head coach Robin Mignerey.

The Sharks went on a 7-1 run to grab a 19-17 lead and force the Senators to call a timeout of their own to regroup.

Ponte Vedra (25-1) was able to withstand the furious attack by Fletcher and win the first set, 27-25.

“Usually, we handle first sets and then start to let up a little bit, so it was definitely a reverse flip for us,” Mignerey said.

The back-and-forth battle continued in the second set, but the Sharks pulled away late as a beautifully placed cross-court kill from the left side by Kendall Mignerey pinned the line and put the Sharks up 22-19, before finishing off the set 25-20.

The sweep was made complete as the Sharks began to flex their muscles following a string of aces early on by Washington and Shattles. The Sharks never looked back and secured the title with a 25-13 win.

“It was pretty nerve racking, but we really locked in those next two sets and got the job done,” Washington said.

Sophomore Ava Grall saw a lot of playing time on the night and was able to show a calm nature on the big stage and make some key plays down the stretch for the Sharks.

She contributed one kill, one block, one assist and two digs on the night.

“She’s better offensively and even passing she does really well, so I kept her on the back row,” Mignerey said. “It was good to have her come in and just be her little ‘steady Eddy’ self.”

The trio of Rachel Johnson, Zeta Washington and Chelsea Sutton led the way offensively with 13, 12 and 11 kills respectively.

Washington also led the team with three blocks, while Shattles had 39 assists and Ava Witt and Johnson each had 14 digs.

It has been a big last couple of weeks for Shattles, who earned her 2,000th career assist to wrap up the regular season against Bishop Kenny Oct. 14.

“I can’t thank God enough, because He’s just kept me healthy all these years through COVID and everything and has allowed me to have the opportunity to get 2,000 assists,” Shattles said.

The Sharks will host a regional quarterfinal matchup Oct. 27 with the start time and opponent still to be determined.

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