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ONE WIN AWAY FROM HISTORY Photo Credit: Alexa Zampieri


The record-breaking third straight STATE CHAMPIONSHIP is one match away for the Sneads Lady Pirates and legendary coach Sheila Roberts.  Sneads swept South Walton Saturday before a packed home crowd, 25-19, 25-10, and 25-18 in the Class 1A State Semifinals.  The win puts them in the state finals Friday in Orlando where they will face Lafayette at 11 a.m. CST.

Sneads had little trouble with the same team they defeated in the state finals last year to claim their second state title.  South Walton moved no closer than three points to Sneads in the first set and after a 2-2 tie to start the second set, Sneads ran away with the set to win 25-10.  

The third set provided the most nerve racking experience for the Lady Pirates and the crowd.  Sneads was done by three and Sierra McNeil went to the serve line, put together an awesome string of serves to lead her team to regaining the lead.  Ashlyn Roberts got the assist to Madison Pickens for the final, game-winning point.

Taylor Roberts led with nine kills, three ace serves, and 11 digs. Ashlyn Roberts had 19 assists.  Mallory Beauchamp led the team with 12 digs.  Shelby Glawson had six blocks while DD Green and Madison Pickens had three blocks each.  

After the game, Coach Roberts praised her team for their performance, “They were intense, focused, and disciplined.  Our focus words for the week were FOCUS, CONFIDENT, INTELLIGENT, HARD HITTING.  We were able to do all of that, plus South Walton made some errors, some serve errors and that hurt them.”  Roberts had praised for her blockers, “DD (Green) and Shelby (Glawson) were on point, they kept their outside and middle, pretty much shut them down.”  

Roberts had just a hair of concern over her offense but knows they are capable of better, “Offense wasn’t quite what it could have been but it was good enough to sweet this team and beat them and they gave 150%.”

Roberts said she tried to prepare her team starting on Friday, “I had the girls at my house for a sleepover on Friday.  They spent the night on air mattresses and we had dinner and a movie night.  They were asleep by ten, winding down by nine, and slept in Saturday morning.  They got up and we had lunch together, and it was just a wonderful experience.  I think having them over was the right thing to do, lots of laughs and they were very loose for the game.” 

Sneads will now turn their attention to making history when they travel to Orlando for the Friday game. Coach Sheila Roberts expects her team to be more than ready, “We don’t know much about this team, but I will be talking to some coaches in the team’s area.”

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