The Lady Seahawk volleyball team spoiled Port St. Joe's home opener last Thursday, as they emerged victorious before a large and enthusiastic crowd.
The Seahawks prevailed over the locals in three sets, winning 25-18, 25-17 and 25-21.
In the middle school game, the Seahawks lost the first set 22-25 and then won 26-24 and 15-7 to secure the match.
In the junior varsity game, the Seahawks won 25-19 and 25-10.
"The girls played extremely well," said Seahawk coach Rebecca Montalbano, now in her first season at the helm of the program. "You can definitely see their drive and passion for the sport.
"They came together (after losing to Wewa on the previous Tuesday) and fought hard to take them in three sets. That was one of their goals for the evening and they succeeded nicely," she said.
"I am looking forward to seeing how they progress through the season as they become more familiar with the new system and their new positions," she said.
Seahawk varsity members include seniors Meredith Alford, Ariel Andrews, Sage Brannan, and Myia Maxwell; juniors Mya Brown, Skylar Johnson, and Autumn Loesch; sophomore Hannah Abel; and freshman Ryan Brown.
"We played well (but) we are still one or two things away from where we want to be,” said Port St. Joe Coach Lissa Walker. “The first thing is mental; we need to believe we can win. And we have to learn not to get in the net.”
"Each game had its own issues we have to work on," she said.
This year's varsity Sharks are Haley Corzine, Abby Evans, Laura Beth Hill, Shadavia Hudgins, Mari Johnson, Amani Jones, Alexis Price, Erica Ramsey, Ava Ryan, Tyshawn Shackleford, and Lily Wockenfuss.
In Franklin County's home opener Aug. 24, the Seahawks fell to the Wewahitchka Gators in three sets - 25-13, 25-21 and 27-25.
In the middle school game, the Seahawks won 25-14 and 25-23, and then played one set with a B team and won 25-9.
In the JV game, the Seahawks won 25-19 and 25-16.
Montalbano said her team “kept the game close. The girls are learning a new system this year and it is taking some time to learn.” Although making progress, they “occasionally slip back into their old ways, causing some confusion and frustration.”
Wewa coach Nikita Andrews had high praise for the Lady Seahawks.
“We hit well, we served extremely well, and we were consistently aggressive,” said Andrews. “The girls played hard and stayed out of the net. Franklin was a great team. Wewa girls had fire in them to win tonight!”
“I could not be more proud of my girls,” she added. “We played for Timbo!”
Wewa senior Caroline Hysmith had just lost her father, Timothy “Timbo” Hysmith, the weekend earlier after a long battle with cancer.
Following a game Monday night, Aug. 30 against Rickards, the junior varsity and varsity teams travel on Tuesday, Sept. 7 to Altha.
Star sportswriter Ken Paulk assisted with this story.