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It was clear early on that two-time defending regional champion Tampa Robinson was going to be too much for the home-standing Lely High School Trojans to handle.

But that didn't stop the Trojans from fighting gamely for three tough sets in front of a large and raucous crowd. In the end, Robinson won 15-25, 12-25, 21-25.

The Trojans have now lost to Robinson in the regional final three years in a row. But Lely head coach Chris Haire said her team was not nervous in the beginning.

"I wouldn't say nervous, I would say anxious," Haire said. "This is a team they had lost to the past two years. Now it's been three years. And they so much want more than what the outcome was."

The Trojans played their best in the third set when their back was against the wall.

"That third set, that's just the fire I've seen in them all year," the coach said. "You wish they would have gotten that in them a little sooner so the outcome might have been different. It was a too little too late type of thing."

Several team members were crying after Haire spoke to them afterward.

"I told the junior class to remember this feeling," Haire said. "That gut-wrenching feeling of losing and that heartache. Remember that next year when we're fighting for this again. They have to have that heart and that drive and just be ready to go. That team did not play better than us. We didn't play our best game, and that's what hurt us tonight."

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 KaitlynZiegelmaier of Naples. Marco-area players include EmmanuelleMeurgue, McKennaLampos, Vanessa Torres, Annie Palys, KalaniSiler and AleiaKolodziejczyk.

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