The Sneads Lady Pirates volleyball team capped off an outstanding season in the best possible way, capturing the Class 1A State Championship last Saturday in Kissimmee at the Silver Spurs Arena. They dominated the Baker Lady Gators from start to finishing, winning in three straight sets 25-15, 25-19 and 25-13. The Lady Pirates got outstanding play from their seniors and their underclassman to captured the school's first ever volleyball State Championship.
One of those seniors was Logan Neel, one of the team captains, who racked up 12 kills in the win. But it was also the play of the Sneads stellar underclassman who also made the win possible. Sophomores Ashlyn Roberts and Emily Glover each recorded 9 kills each, while junior Krissi Satterfield added 7 kills and another sophomore De'Aryll Green chipped in 4 kills. Sophomore Logan McCord led the team in assists with 35. Roberts added 24 digs while Mallory Beauchamp had 11 digs.
The Lady Pirates had advanced to the championship bout with Baker after downing Newberry in three straight sets on Friday in the FHSAA State Semi-Finals. Roberts led the team in that match with 12 kills while Neel added 8. Glover and Green each contributed 6 kills in the match. McCord had 24 assists, Beauchamp had 17 digs and Glover served up 5 aces.
Lady Pirate Head Coach Shelia Roberts, now in her 10th season at Sneads, said she was proud of the team, especially the play of her seniors (Neel, Shelbi Byler and Mallory McDaniel). "Those seniors really stepped up for us this year. They have been great leaders both on and off the court and when they took the floor on Saturday they had their game faces on. They were not going to go home without a State Championship," said Roberts.
Roberts added that the State Championship has been a long time coming. "We've been to the Regional Finals six straight years and went to the Final Four two years ago (losing to Baker in five sets in the Semi-Finals), but it never seemed complete. Now it is complete," Roberts commented. But Roberts also feels the win is not just important for this year's team. "I am so happy for this year's team but I am also happy for the school, the program, our past teams and the community. It's been a long hard road to get to this point, but we made it and now the goal is to keep it going," according to Roberts.
And while staying on top is always tough, the Lady Pirates appear to be in great shape to make another run. While they lose three very good seniors, they return a bumper crop of underclassman (7 sophomores and 1 junior) off this year's team that have now tasted the ultimate success.