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Young North volleyball team starts strong

By CHUCK BALLARO - | Sep 14, 2021

North Fort Myers High School volleyball captain Mia Miranda goes up for the kill during a match against Mariner on Tuesday. North won 3-1. CHUCK BALLARO

The North Fort Myers High School volleyball team has just two seniors and one of the youngest rosters in the area.

However, at least so far this season, that has not been a problem as the Red Knights have started off the season in strong fashion. After losing to regional power Fort Myers, North took down Estero in straight sets and then held off a rebuilding Mariner squad on the road.

Against Mariner, North showed it can handle adversity, taking a two-set lead before the Tritons rallied to win the third set and took an early lead in the fourth set before North hit the reset button and blew the doors off Mariner, outscoring them 24-6 to close out the match.

North coach Nancy Eskay said her team did a great job controlling the ball and getting things together when Mariner threatened to get back in the match.

However, she saw many things the Red Knights have to work on, since every other team is working to improve.

“Our serve receive broke down in the third set and that contributed to our difficulties,” Eskay said. “We have to do better serving. We are a young team and we will be working on that in practice.”

North got a great night from junior outside hitter Madison Fischer, who had 18 kills and 17 digs. Senior setter and captain Mia Miranda had 24 assists and 12 digs, and junior captain libero Meagan Odebralski had 18 digs.

The team revolves around Fischer and Miranda — the team leader who has improved her game through hard work.

“She’s been great coming out of last season when she didn’t get to set as much. But she worked hard in the offseason and so far, she has been amazing,” Eskay said. “She’s been a leader, a role model and works very hard in practice and in games and she’s a girl the younger ones can look up to.”

Miranda said the team is working on building bonds to keep up the momentum on what is a young, but talented team.

“I’m looking forward to playing more good, hard games and building and working as a team,” Miranda said. “We took a dip a little in the game, but we were able to bring it back together.”

Fischer said the team looks to Miranda for leadership, which she provides by getting the second ball to feed to the hitters for the kill.

“She has a very important role. She helps the kids and has a great attitude. She’s always up, she’s always there and any ball you can count on her getting it,” Fischer said. “This team has a lot of sophomores and juniors but they work on the club teams so we’re really coming together.”

Eskay said the Red Knights will continue to fine tune their game, with a week between games before going into the meat of their schedule.

“We’ll continue to bring these younger girls into the fold. The game in this area has improved and I expect as we improve, everyone else will as well,” Eskay said. “I expect every game will be a battle.”