The MICMS gymnasium was filled with volleyball action with the Eagles and Gators playing a best two out of three games to 25 with rally scoring. The MICMS Eagles came away victorious 25-19, 25-16. Excitement continued to build in the gym as the MIA Lady Rays and Everglades City Gators took over the court for warm-up immediately following the middle school match.
“It was important to come and show my support tonight. Until I had my youngest daughter, I coached this team. I’ve known these girls since they started playing in sixth grade,” expressed Diana Valdes, former Everglades City Gators’ Coach.
The Lady Rays came away with the first game 25-22 and continued their momentum into the second game, forcing the Gators to call a time out at 19-12. The well-executed time out caused a slowdown in the Lady Rays’ momentum and began a series of side outs. A string of serves by Alycia Kibodeaux allowed the Gators to close in on the Rays’ lead to a one-point margin at 21-20, which forced a time out for MIA. The Gators won the second game 25-23. The Lady Rays dug in and came away winning the third game 25-15. At first glance, the fourth game looked to be a runaway for the Lady Rays but instead, proved to be a real battle with a final score of 29-27. Final score in the four-game nail-biter favored the Lady Rays: 25-22, 23-25, 25-15, 29-27. (High school volleyball games are played best three out of five to 25 winning, by two points, with rally scoring.)
“They (MIA) used to beat us badly. These girls (EC) did great and continue to get better and better with every game, anticipate each other’s moves, and work together,” beamed Tod Dahlke. “#1 Gators fan and proud father,” he added, as his daughter Taylor (#8) and teammate Morgan Herrin (#6) ran by laughing. “They have played together since they were in sixth grade and are really close. This is a perfect example (pointing at the girls). They all have tight-knit friendships.”
Team stats available at press time:
For the Lady Rays, Skye La Butte (15) and Ellie Ball (18) led with digs. Morgan Maile had an impressive five blocks. Casey Erickson served up nine aces, and Camryn Rose racked up 15 kills.
#10 Brandy Bowen led the Gators with 10 kills.