OKEECHOBEE — Makayla Root, Baylee Farless and Cheyenne Nunez were honored before the final home game of their careers as the Lady Brahmans celebrated senior night for volleyball with a four-set victory over Lake Placid Thursday, 25-17, 25-15, 15-25 and 25-14.
Root had eight kills, four blocks and nine points, and Nunez had seven points and 27 digs to lead the Lady Brahmans.
Raylee Coleman added six kills, nine digs and four points, and Raeley Matthews add seven kills. Andee Garcia had 12 assists and seven points for OHS.
OHS coach Taylor Padrick said the girls didn’t let a disappointing loss to Jensen Beach Tuesday affect them as they came out strong against the Green Dragons.
“I hope it put some fire in their belly. If we lost to Jensen that was the match to lose rather than the district final,” she said. “We have to figure them out and we’ve been reviewing fill to see what lineups and rotations work best for us.”
Okeechobee held a quick 6-1 lead in the first game against Lake Placid but the Dragons battled back to trail 16-13 before Okeechobee put things away.
Okeechobee again jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the second game only to see Lake Placid pull to within 9-7. From there Okeechobee went on a run to win the game by 10 points.
Lake Placid took leads of 5-2, 9-6 and 16-13 in the third game and impressed with a 10-point victory.
Okeechobee responded with a strong effort in the fourth game. After Lake Placid pulled to within 10-8, Okeechobee went on a big run to take leads of 18-11 and 24-13 down the stretch.
Padrick said if her girls get off to a good start it usually means they will be successful.
The girls wanted to build some more momentum for districts on Saturday when they tried to defend their own title in the Dig Pink Tournament at South Fork High School.
Padrick said she enjoyed her three seniors and was very impressed with the way they have handled themselves and developed over the last three years.
“It was exciting to see them grow up. They make leaps and bounds this season. It is sad to see them go,” she said.
Farless said the team did very well in spots Thursday but also had their struggles. She said she is glad the season turned out to be a good one as the team has lost just two matches.
“I’m really proud of my team. I’ve played with these girls since I was six years old. We all have played volleyball all our lives,” she explained.
Farless said despite the loss Tuesday to Jensen Beach, she thinks Okeechobee has a chance to dethrone the Lady Falcons this year.
“Mark my words, we are going to beat them. We didn’t know what to expect from them this year. They creamed us last year but they lost a few players. I definitely think we have a chance to beat them this year,” she added.
Okeechobee will host Palm Bay-Bayside on Tuesday night, Oct. 20, in the first round of district tournament play at 6 p.m.
Charles M. Murphy is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News