Only four out of 86 high school volleyballteams make it to the 8A FHSAA Girls teams make it to the 8A FHSAA Girls Volleyball Finals, and the Coral Reef Senior High School team was one of them. The team of four seniors, five juniors, four sophomores and two freshmen battled a tough team from Winter Park in a semifinal game in Kissimmee last month and lost, but the Barracudas’ third-place finish in the finals was a fitting reward for a successful season. The team ended the 2012 season with a 25-6 record.
It was the first time in Coral Reef High School’s history that the girls’ volleyball team earned a bid to the state tournament. The road to the final four also included other historical firsts, including first-place finishes in the Greater Miami Athletic Conference tournament and the Region 4- 8A Championship.
“It really was a Cinderella story for us,” said Coral Reef head coach Yasmin Ortiz. “We weren’t expected to make it all the way. Getting to the state finals was always the ultimate goal for this team and the girls worked very hard to get there. I went to state finals during high school and I wanted these girls to experience that same success.”
Volleyball is Ortiz’s passion. After high school, she attended college on a volleyball scholarship, played pro volleyball and coached at the college level. This is the fifth year she has coached the Coral Reef team and each year the team’s number of wins has increased. Ortiz also serves as the boys’ volleyball coach and teaches Honors Biology and Spanish at Coral Reef.
With a year-round focus on conditioning and training, the Coral Reef girl’s volleyball team will be competitive again next year.