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In first year as coach, Brianna Nunez leads Moore Haven Middle to 5-1 record

Moore Haven Middle School A team volleyball coach Brianna Nunez talks to her players before the start of their final game of the season Oct. 13, 2021, at Moore Haven Middle High School. (Photo Kevin Johnson)

MOORE HAVEN — While her players performed their postgame tasks of removing the net and cleaning up for the final time this season, Moore Haven Middle School “A” volleyball team coach Brianna Nunez reflected on her team’s performance.

“Very proud of them, very proud of our season,” said Nunez, a former Miss Florida Seminole from the Brighton Reservation who guided the team to a 5-1 record in her first year as coach. Moore Haven shutout Clewiston in the season finale Oct. 13.

In addition to the strong record, Nunez was impressed by the team’s cohesiveness.

From left, Moore Haven Middle School “A” team players Tehya Nunez, Joleyne Nunez and Tahnia Billie celebrate a win against Clewiston. (Photo Kevin Johnson)

“I’ve never seen a group of girls get along so well,” she said. “There’s never been a problem all season. There’s nothing more that you could ask for for middle school girls to get along. That’s perfect.”

The team featured a mixture of students from Moore Haven Middle and Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School, including Nunez’s younger sister Tehya. Their father Dallas coached the “B” team. Since PECS did not offer sports this fall due to the pandemic, volleyball players were allowed to join teams at other schools. For Moore Haven, having players from PECS proved to be invaluable.

“The Charter School girls are very crucial to our team. They are a big part of the team,” Nunez said.

Winning helps, but regardless of the record, Nunez said she loved her rookie season as the coach. It was an eye-opener for the Okeechobee High graduate to be on the coaching side rather than on the playing side.

“I played volleyball my whole life. I’m all about the sport. I have a big heart for it,” she said. “Being on the other side and coaching, it’s been a learning experience. I have to be more strategic with the game play and positions and I have to think about all positions at one time and not just my one position.

“I was asked to coach. I didn’t have to think too long about it. Volleyball has always been the big passion of mine. I love the sport.”

The “A” team for Moore Haven Middle School volleyball included, back row, from left, coach Brianna Nunez, Laniya Ash, Ila Trueblood, Tahnia Billie, Riana Kelly, Joleyne Nunez, and, front row, from left, Tehya Nunez, Alexus Navarro, Aaryn King and Sa’Nyree Myers. (Photo Kevin Johnson)
Moore Haven’s Tahnia Billie (9) attempts a block against Clewiston during a middle school volleyball match at Moore Haven Middle High School on Oct. 13, 2021. (Photo Kevin Johnson)
Moore Haven’s Ila Trueblood dives to make a dig in a middle school match against Clewiston on Oct. 13, 2021, at Moore Haven Middle High School. (Photo Kevin Johnson)

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Kevin Johnson
Kevin Johnson is senior editor. He has worked for The Seminole Tribune since 2014. He was previously an editor, photographer and reporter for newspapers in Southwest Florida and Connecticut. Contact Kevin at kevinjohnson@semtribe.com.
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