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PECS volleyball eyes another perfect season

The Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School varsity volleyball team had plenty of reasons to smile after keeping its undefeated season alive with a win against Moore Haven Middle School on Sept. 18, 2023. From left to right are Ciani Smith, Amalia Estrada, Jalene Smith, Jaelle Weiman, Kulipa Julian, Melaine Bonilla, Azariah Washington, Dyani Kayda and Daliyah Nunez. (Photo Kevin Johnson)

BRIGHTON — The Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School varsity volleyball team picked up where it left off last year, which is bad news for opponents.

Coming off a flawless 15-0 season in 2022, the Seminoles are in position to tack another banner on the gymnasium wall.

The requirement to earn a spot on the wall is to finish undefeated. So far, so good as PECS entered October with an 11-0 record. Coach Monica Koger said her team has played well in every aspect.

“We should be undefeated again this year,” she said after the team’s eighth win – a 2-0 shutout against Moore Haven Middle on Sept. 18 in Brighton. “They should look to put another banner on the wall if they just stay focused.”

Koger said she’s fortunate to have a team that has several players who play travel ball.

PECS’ backcourt gets ready to receive a serve. From left to right are Amalia Estrada, Kulipa Julian and Daliyah Nunez. (Photo Kevin Johnson)

“A lot of them have been playing together for a long time and a lot of them know volleyball. They’ve got some skills,” she said.

Koger is in her first year as the team’s head coach, but some of her players were familar with her before the season began.

“A lot of them I will coach in the travel ball season, so they kind of know my expectations, so that helps. Some of them know what I expect from them,” she said.

Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School’s Azariah Washington keeps the ball in play. (Photo Kevin Johnson)

Anchored by four strong 8th graders – Melaine Bonilla, Dyani Kayda, Daliyah Nunez and Eleanor Osceola – the team also features an impressive core of 7th graders. Koger said the team’s talent is deep and that some players on the junior varsity team – which is also undefeated – are good enough to play varsity.

Not only is the team vying for the undefeated season, but it also has its sights set on winning the Around the Lake tournament, which will be held Oct. 17-19. PECS will likely be the top seed and have a bye on the first day of the tournament.

Ciani Smith keeps the ball in play. (Photo Kevin Johnson)
Kulipa Julian delivers a powerful serve for PECS. (Photo Kevin Johnson)

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