Lady Pirates close season with exciting state matches

Home Sports Lady Pirates close season with exciting state matches


Shauna Cook
The Corsair

With the volleyball season over, here’s a reflection of how great the season was for Coach Laird and his Lady Pirates.

Overall,  The Lady Pirates ended the season with a 27-9 record and 4-0 in conference. The Lady Pirates made it to the NJCAA Region State Tournament in Jacksonville in the beginning of November leaving their record at 27-11.

Nov. 4 was game one at the State Tournament; The Lady Pirates played Hillsborough CC and lost in 4 sets 19-25,19-25, 28-26,21-25.

“Hats off to Hillsborough,” Head Coach Chris Laird said. “They played better than we did and deserved to win.”

Even with the loss in the match, Lady Pirates kept their heads up and stood strong.

“You just don’t look back and you keep going forward because you can’t go back in time and change what happened,” Sarah Guidry said. “You just gotta move on.”

Through the frustration and pressure, team captain Karson Hinds pushed and motivated her teammates no matter how hard the match got.

“I talk a lot and I try to keep everyone’s spirits up,” Hinds said. “I get frustrated sometimes and I just gotta chill out and keep encouraging the team.”

With emotions coming on strong and the frustration on the rise due to the several interruptions throughout the match (not keeping up with the scoreboard scores and referrees calling questionable calls), the Lady Pirates gave it their all.

“I think it’s frustrating because it’s a momentum game and it kills the momentum,”  Guidry said. “You gotta get yourself back in it whenever a ref makes a bad call. You just want to do that much better to earn your next point to prove they made a bad call.”

Libero Shantel Federick came in to serve for the win in set 3.

“I use to serve a lot,” Federick said. “I wasn’t expecting to serve  and coach told me to go in and serve. I was thinking about just getting in and not try  to serve an ace or anything.”

At that point the Lady Pirates were still in it to win it. The next day they played St. Petersburg to determine if they would go to the finals.
“I know the girls know we definitely gotta bring it,” Laird said. “I feel we still have a really great opportunity and it’s in our hands so we have to go out there and give it our all.”

That night was the volleyball banquet and the Lady Pirates,  along with Coach Laird won some amazing awards. Karson Hinds, Megan Gorey, Emily Guidry and Sarah Guidry won Panhandle All Conference Team.

Karson Hinds and Megan Gorey won All State Conference Team. Karson Hinds won Conference Player of the Year. Coach Chris Laird won Conference Coach of the Year. Congrats to you all!

Nov. 5 was game two for the Lady Pirates. They played St. Petersburg and lost in 5 sets 21-25,25-22,25-13,18-25,10-15. This put the Lady Pirates out of the championships.

After losing the first set, Lady Pirates came on strong taking the next two sets.

“There may have been a little bit of over confidence after we went up 2-1,” Head Coach Chris Laird said.

Going into the 4th set, there was a lot of tension and frustration. St. Pete took the set forcing a  set 5 winner-take-all.

“St. Pete played harder than we did and it kind of showed they wanted it a little more,” Laird said. “they were a little more crisper than they were.”

Out of the championship, Lady Pirates returned home.

“We have a lot to be proud of in these players and they have a lot of reasons to hold their heads up,” Laird said.

Our sophomores will move on and our freshman will return for another great season next year.

“The sophomores are very special to me,” Laird said. “We’ve had 2 seasons together and it’s sad I won’t have the chance to see them play on my court or be any influence on how they develop and get better.”