FORT MYERS, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Chalk up a sixth straight state championship for the Sneads volleyball program, tying Tampa Prep for the most consecutive 1A titles in state history.
Sneads beat Bell in straight sets, 25-17, 25-14 and 25-8 Friday afternoon in Fort Myers, pulling the program to within one title of tying the state record for most consecutive in any class.
The Pirates fell behind in the first set but rallied, led by Lacee Glover, Kirara Garrett and Michaela Edenfield. Glover led the team with 15 kills, followed by Edenfield with a dozen and Garrett with ten.
The Pirates never trailed again, winning big in the second and third sets.
Although nerves were a factor at first everybody settled down...after all, they've been there before.
"To start out I don't know if nerves got to them," head coach Heather Brinkmeier said. "Our first set wasn't our best set even though we came out with a win. The second set and third set they really played Sneads volleyball. I told the girls to really feel the moment. Not just be in the moment but feel it, and they really, you could tell they not only physically did their best, but they really put their heart into it."
It's the perfect ending to Brinkmeier's first season at the helm after taking over for local legend Sheila Roberts. It also relieves the pressure she has been feeling for months.
"I've been in a championship event as a player, but I cannot explain the feeling as a coach," Brinkmeier added. "Now I know how Sheila Roberts feels, slightly, because she's done it a lot more than I have! I'm excited and I'm very proud that I'm they're coach this year, but I'm more excited for them to have that moment and for them to share that moment for a lifetime to come."
The team will spend time at a theme park Saturday before making its way back home late Saturday night.