A number of superlatives were used on Thursday night when the Lely girls volleyball team won the school’s first district title.
Awesome and historic were the most used.
For many of the team it was a culmination of three years, a lot of hard work and fulfilling what even family members started.
“Our first district championship is awesome,” said senior setter Lisa Feola of Marco Island. “We have come a long way in three years. We made history.”
Senior Alex Meurgue of Marco served out the last two points.
“I served the last two points for the championship, it was nerve wracking,” she said. “I was freaking out, I just wanted to get it over.”
Once the championship was theirs she thought of her sister, Margaux, who was a senior starter a year ago when the team set a new school record for wins.
“I wished my sister could have been a part of it, she was a big influence on me and continues to be,” Alex said.
Tuesday night they move on to regional play, hosting Lemon Bay at 7 p.m. in the Lely gym.
Lely downed Lemon Bay in the Estero Invitational on Oct. 1, on its way to winning the tourney.
But it was a best two-out-of-three match, with Lemon Bay winning the first game, Lely coming back to win the second and the tie-breaker third game, 15-10.
“I don’t want to jinx us with a prediction, it will be a good match for us,” Meurgue said.
Feola said, “They are a really good team and play really well, but I’m pretty confident with us playing at home.”
They showed confidence in what could have been a best-of-five championship match.
Lely swept Estero in three games on Estero’s home court for the Class 5A-District 12 championship.
Lely showed they could take a challenge in the first two games as they built big leads only to see Estero come storming back.
In the second game coach Daniel Selvey said the turning point was when the “girls came together and scored 11 of the next 14 points to close out the set. We never looked back.”
He talked of how Lely set a game plan on Wednesday and executed it on Thursday.
“I was very proud of the poise and focus with which the girls played,” he said. “This is new territory for all of us,” said the coach who is in his fourth year as head coach.
“Closing them out in three straight sets in their own gym gives us confidence (going into tonight’s match),” he said.
The team is going for a record 19th win. Selvey was confident that they will have a game plan to bring them victory.