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Seminoles help spark Moore Haven volleyball

Tribal members on the Moore Haven High School varsity volleyball team are, from left to right, Marley Jimmie, Ayana Fonseca, Preslynn Baker, Summer Gopher and Miley Jimmie. (Photo Kevin Johnson)

Update: The Moore Haven High School girls volleyball team finished its regular season with a 10-2 record. The Terriers will face Southwest Florida Christian Academy at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 16 in a district playoff match at St. John Neumann in Naples.

This story appeared in the Sept. 29, 2023, issue of the Seminole Tribune.

WEST PALM BEACH — A “less is better” approach is benefiting the Moore Haven High School varsity volleyball team this season.

Terriers coach Mona Baker said she opted to go with just 10 players on varsity this season rather than larger numbers compared to previous seasons. It’s paid off with a 6-2 record.

“It’s much easier to control those 10 players versus trying to fit in 14,” Baker said. “They’ve been doing really good. They’ve given me everything.”

Moore Haven’s Ayana Fonseca controls the ball in a match against Berean Christian on Sept. 7, 2023, in West Palm Beach. (Photo Kevin Johnson)

Half of the Terriers roster is comprised of players from the Seminole Tribe. They are Preslynn Baker, Ayana Fonseca, Summer Gopher and sisters Marley Jimmie and Miley Jimmie.

Moore Haven started its season with three straight wins before losing a hard-fought marathon against Berean Christian School on Sept. 7 in West Palm Beach. Berean outlasted Moore Haven, 30-32, 25-21, 21-25, 25-23 and 15-11 in a tight match that lasted nearly two and a half hours.

Moore Haven bounced back by winning four of its next five matches in September, including shutouts against Dunbar, Pahokee and Walker Memorial Academy.

At times, Moore Haven is at a disadvantage against more experienced opponents because the Terriers only have a few players who play travel ball. Baker said after the match against Berean that she would like her team to seize control of situations more often. The Terriers were up 2 sets to 1 and had a 17-7 lead against Berean in the fourth set and a 4-0 lead in the fifth, but couldn’t finish off the job as Berean rallied both times to win the match.

“They don’t know how to come out and whoop somebody…If they would just come out and put their foot on the (opposition’s) throats and keep it there, nobody would beat them,” she said.

The Terriers celebrate after winning a point. (Photo Kevin Johnson)
Marley Jimmie goes up for a block attempt in a match against Berean Christian. (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