After cruising through their district tournament without dropping a set, Lely's girls volleyball team found themselves in trouble early in their regional opener against Bradenton Bayshore Tuesday night at the Trojans gym.
Bayshore led the the opening set 22-17 before the Trojans reeled off eight straight points to win the set and set the tone for the match. The Trojans went on to win in four sets, 25-22, 25-15, 16-25, 25-22. The Trojans looked shaky in the third set, but regrouped.
"This is something they knew they could do," Lely coach Chris Haire said. "We had a little mental breakdown in the third set. We weren't making the adjustments we needed to make. Now we're on to the regional semi-finals."
Lely plays Dunedin on Saturday at a time and location to be announced. Dunedin advances after defeating Immokalee in four sets Tuesday night. Lely defeated Immokalee last Thursday for the district championship. The top two teams in the district advanced to the regional tournament.
The regional championship game will be played next Tuesday. The winner of that contest advances to the state final four.
It was the fifth straight district championship for Lely's team, which this year includes a number of Marco-area players. Lely has dominated its district all season, finishing undefeated.
"We've got a great group of kids," Haire said. "They've played together for a long time and it comes together on the floor. There's a lot of camaraderie, friendship.
"One of our co-captains, junior Katie Moss, is from Marco," Haire said. "She's got a lot of ability and she's very coachable. She a very powerful person mentally and physically. She's a big voice out on the court. We have 12 players and half of them are from the Marco area. But I don't really define where they're from. It's what they do together as a team that defines them."
Other co-captains are seniors Jessica Ricciardelli and Kaitlyn Ziegelmaier of Naples.
Marco-area players for the Trojans include Emmanuelle Meurgue, McKenna Lampos, Vanessa Torres, Annie Palys, Kalani Siler and Aleia Kolodziejczyk.