Lady Brahmans start new season with back to back wins

OKEECHOBEE — The Okeechobee Lady Brahmans volleyball team has started their season with back-to-back wins after defeating Clewiston on Aug. 21 and Lincoln Park Academy on Aug. 23.

It’s a complete turnaround from where the program was last year, when it took nine games for the Lady Brahmans to notch their first victory.

The Lady Brahman’s young players are having to learn to play together and gel as a team in order to be prepared to take on Okeechobee’s biggest rivals like Jensen Beach and South Fork. Front from left to right: freshman Kerry Gopher and freshman Kiersten Kennedy. Back from left to right: junior Ashley Snyder, freshman Anja Koivunea and senior Delaney Jones. Photo taken by Richard Marion.

Okeechobee crushed Clewiston in their first game to open the season, winning the away game in three sets 25-6, 25-4 and 25-14. The dominate performance down in Clewiston allowed Lady Brahman head coach Taylor Padrick to give some of her new players more experience in the third set.

“We definitely dominated,” said Padrick. “We got to mess with the lineup a little bit because we were ahead enough that we could play with some different instances. And you can see that in our last set against them, their score was a little bit higher because we were playing with some things.”

Junior Kendall Harrison led the team in kills with 7, followed by freshman Ashley Phares with 5 and freshman Brienna Brockman with 4. Sophomore Mattie Garcia led the team in aces with 5, while freshman Anja Koivuneam junior Mallorie Thomas and Kendall Harrison each had 4. Junior Ashley Snyder led the team in digs with 7 and serves received with 9.

When the Lady Brahmans faced Lincoln Park Academy in their first home game of the year at Okeechobee High School, it was a little more competitive.

“I feel like at the beginning we were a little lackadaisical,” explained Padrick. And that was one of the things that we really pushed in practice yesterday was not to be slow coming out. I think having five freshman on the team we just had to get those jitters out, it’s our first real home game. But, overall, they pulled it out.”

Okeechobee was able to win the game in four sets. OHS took the first set 25-15, but Lincoln Park Academy was able to come back to take the second set 25-20. The third set saw both teams exchange the lead until the Lady Brahmans were able to win 25-23, and finally Okeechobee was able to cruise to victory in the last set 25-17.

Next Okeechobee will face district rival Jensen Beach on Aug. 28 in Jensen in what should be the biggest test for the young Lady Brahmans team thus far in the season.

See the video below.


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