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Ahfachkee volleyball shows promise as brief season ends

BIG CYPRESS — If you blinked, you may have missed the home portion of the Ahfachkee School volleyball schedule.

The team played its only home match of the season Sept. 30 against the Moore Haven High School junior varsity squad.

With several middle schoolers on its roster and many players brand new to the sport, Ahfachkee played an abbreviated five-match schedule this year.

Ahfachkee coach Randy Hernandez guides the team in its only home match of the season Sept. 30 against Moore Haven High School’s junior varsity at the Herman L. Osceola Gymnasium in Big Cypress. (Photo Kevin Johnson)

Although they fell to Moore Haven in two sets at the Herman L. Osceola Gymnasium, the Lady Warriors provided a glimpse of a brightening future with its strongest performance of the season.

The scores were 25-14, 25-12, but the more important aspect was that Ahfachkee produced its most competitive match and showed plenty of improvement compared to early in the season.

“We did much better today. We’ve been improving significantly. We’ve been practicing a lot with serving and receiving the ball,” said Ahfachkee coach Randy Hernandez.

Ahfachkee’s Tahnia Billie controls the ball at the net in a match against Moore Haven High School junior varsity. (Photo Kevin Johnson)

Ahfachkee wasted no time in showing where it has improved. Barbara Jimmie served three aces to start the match. In game two, Tahnia Billie delivered a pair of aces. Ahfachkee also won a few points on Lania Bert’s serves.

“Usually they do better in the second and third sets. The first game they’re usually not that comfortable,” Hernandez said.

Hernandez is encouraged that the players want to keep playing and continue learning after the season.

Lania Bert delivers a serve for Ahfachkee during its match against Moore Haven JV. (Photo Kevin Johnson)

Forming a strong core for the future around players who are currently in middle school will no doubt take time. Hernandez said after-school options will be considered as part of the development process.

“You have to keep building through the year,” he said. “Conditioning is something that we need to focus on. With more conditioning, they will move more.”

With a young roster – Destiny Cypress was the only senior – that featured nine middle schoolers, Ahfachkee has the time to grow.

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