A steady Southwest Florida Christian High School team visited Marco Island Academy for its home opener on Thursday, September 12, and left with a three-game sweep of the home team.
The match was played in front of a small, quiet crowd, consisting of family and friends of the players. Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, each player was permitted to invite just two people to the match. Doors to the gymnasium were locked for the duration of the match.
MIA’s Head Coach Alyssa Stolinas was disappointed in the way her team came out in its home opener.
“We didn’t show up to play,” a disappointed Stolinas said. “We’re a better team than we just presented.”
The Marco girls were scrappy in their season–opening five-game loss to St. John Neumann earlier this month, then showed spirited play against a tough First Baptist Academy team on Tuesday, September 8, despite dropping a three-game match to the Cougars. Stolinas didn’t see the same fire in her squad against SFCA.
“We played better against FBA,” Stolinas said, “and they’re a better team than SFCHS. We didn’t come out on top every time, but we were digging better. FBA had to work. It wasn’t one point after another.”
After dropping the first game 25-19, MIA fought back in the second game and led early, 4-1. The rest of the game went back and forth with the teams tied at 10-10, 12-12 and 13-13. Then SFCHS ran off four straight points and MIA was reeling.
Stolinas called a timeout with her team down 17-13 in the second game. The Rays came back out and climbed back into the game.
The Rays outscored SFCHS 8-4 to tie the second game, 21-21. They were tied 22-22 and 23-23 before SFCHS scored the game’s final two points.
SFCHS came out strong in the third game and never looked back, winning 25-14. Stolinas felt a lack of teamwork led to the Rays’ downfall.
“They played very individually tonight,” Stolinas said. “I think they just didn’t want to play today. We definitely present as a better team that. We showed that against Neumann. But even then we were a little off.”
Stolinas sees her team as a talented one that just hasn’t learned to play with teamwork.
”I think we’re just taking a little longer to find our groove and start working together as a team,” she said.
The loss drops the Rays to 0-3. SWFCA is now 1-0.