The Green Wave will lose just one senior from this year’s team: Lexie McMullin.
BY ANDREW O'BRIEN | SPORTS EDITOR
For the second year in a row, the Father Lopez volleyball team was eliminated from the state playoffs in the regional quarterfinals just days after winning the district championship.
Orangewood Christian (21-7) came into Daytona Beach and knocked off Father Lopez (18-10) in three straight sets on Tuesday night, ending the Green Wave’s season.
“We had a great season,” an emotional Father Lopez coach Allan Knight said after the game.
Despite being the home team after winning the District 5-3A title, Knight said his team knew it was the underdog against an “amazingly talented” Orangewood team.
“We had our opportunities and a lot of great chances,” Knight said. “We walk away knowing we put in a great effort.”
Father Lopez led at one point during Game 1, 19-13, but Orangewood battled back and eventually won the game, 25-22.
It was all Orangewood from there, as the Lady Rams won Game 2, 25-21, and Game 3, 25-17.
Father Lopez will lose Lexie McMullin, its lone senior, from this year’s team. But the core of the team is young and returning, Knight said. That has him excited for the program he is continuing to build.
After the game, he kept his team in the locker room for about 10 minutes.
“Obviously, it’s tough to say goodbye to (McMullin),” Knight said. “She was an amazing player and a big reason why we had the success that we had.”
McMullin led the team in her final game with 17 digs. Bailey Gillespy had nine kills.
Knight, excited about the future, said his team will keep things in perspective.
“(We are) a team that has dominated with not a lot of height and not a lot of overly talented players,” he said. “We’ve done it through the team system: being well-rounded and balanced. Things you can control as a team.”