JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Ponte Vedra volleyball team is in position that few area teams have been in before.
In a sport that is arguably the most difficult major team championship to win, the Sharks (24-6) are chasing their own slice of history.
Ponte Vedra faces defending state champion Ocala Vanguard (16-10) at 1:30 p.m. in Fort Myers, with its sights set on bringing home just the ninth title by an area team.
Only one area team has won multiple state titles, Bishop Kenny.
For as good as the Crusaders have been and for an extended period of time, they have won just two championships (1999 and 2014). Sandalwood (1979), Fletcher (1981), Bolles (1989), Nease (2008) and Christ’s Church (2017) are the other area programs to have won state titles.
The Sharks won their lone championship in 2017.
No. 2 could come Saturday afternoon.
Ponte Vedra, the area’s No. 1 or 2 team in the News4Jax Super 6 all season long, is in the midst of a special time. This marks the Sharks’ third state championship trip in four seasons. That’s set a good bit of expectations at Ponte Vedra.
Coach Robin Mignerey said that success is both a positive and a bit of an area to grow in. The expectations were to play for another championship, although those lofty goals sometimes drain excitement from the process of getting there.
“It’s good and bad,” said Sharks coach Robin Mignerey. “Obviously, we have a little bit of a [successful] thing going here. We’ve got a lot of girls coming into the program from middle school to here, and that’s obviously why we’ve been able to have some success. These girls have been playing club since sixth, seventh grade. Makes my job easy as far as that goes.
“I think sometimes we forget to really revel in that kind of stuff as well. To appreciate the fact we’re in the state championship game. We’re not going to be content.”
The Sharks, led by Zeta Washington (296 kills) and Logan Mignerey (201 kills) have been mashing opponents down the stretch.
Ponte Vedra has won eight consecutive matches, all of them by sweep. Not even four playoff opponents have provided a speed bump en route to the championship match.
Mignerey said that the challenge through the postseason has been keeping the Sharks sharp. Saturday’s title match will be just the fifth game for Ponte Vedra since Oct. 23.
“I think [the schedule], it’s more trying to focus on … you need to think about your fundamentals,” she said. “My hashtag, I tell the team, ‘do your job, do your job.’”