Windermere Prep claimed beach volleyball’s first FHSAA district title after an undefeated regular season by defeating Horizon High 4-1 Wednesday, April 27.
The title is the culmination of a perfect 9-0 regular season in the sport’s first year recognized by the FHSAA.
“It’s a great accomplishment — winning districts the first inaugural year of the sport being officially recognized,” head coach Walt Drexl said. “It was a great feeling.”
The team competed last year, as well, unofficially, but because of COVID, there were not as many games scheduled for the season and not as many teams competing.
However, this year, more schools participated in the sport, and the competition became tougher.
For the Lakers, training was challenging. The school has only one volleyball court, and it is very difficult to fit the 13 girls on the roster on it. Drexl had about 20 girls try out for the team but kept seven training part-time to have them as potential future players for the upcoming years.
“We are just going to continue moving forward as far as our school is concerned and keep trying to develop the program,” he said. “(We) want to get younger kids interested and get them growing when they are younger just like they do indoors so they get used to the beach game.”
Windermere Prep faced many familiar foes, including Windermere High, Lake Buena Vista, The First Academy, Foundation Academy and West Orange High.
The girls fell to Berkeley Prep Monday, May 2, during the play-ins round of the tournament to qualify for the state quarterfinals.
Horizon High School was a strong competitor during this year’s season as well. The Hawks completed their regular season with a 10-3 record and faced the Lakers in the game for the championship title.
“More and more girls are coming out to play the sport, and more of the better volleyball players are going to be playing,” Drexl said. “But that’s not a bad thing; that’s a good thing.”