The Countryside Christian (Gainesville) volleyball team has almost doubled its win total from the 2020 COVID-19 shortened season.
After finishing 7-7 last year, the Minutemen are 13-4 this year heading into postseason play.
Countryside got off to an amazing start in 2021, winning their first 12 games.
Michelle Seibold is in her second year as the head coach. Prior to taking over for the Minutemen, she had never coached before.
“I played in high school and college, but that was just a little while ago,” Seibold said.
The key to their success this season?
“The team bought into the idea of uniting as one,” Seibold said. “We have the talent and the heart to play at a high level if we put in the time and believed in ourselves.”
Hallie Robertson has had a big year for the Minutemen. The junior leads the team with 151 kills and is second on the team with 194 digs.
“She has an incredible desire to play the game and compete,” Seibold said. “She is also incredibly hard on herself. When she just plays as hard as she can, she can really score us points.”
Seibold’s lone senior, Macy Keith, is 5-foot-4 and plays middle blocker.
“She fights on every play to block and hit and dig and sees the open holes,” Seibold said. “She has been solid at a position that is not made for her height.”
Delaney Robertson, the team’s Libero, has more digs than anyone else in Class 2A. The sophomore has 466 digs, including a season-high 52 digs in a 3-1 win at St. Francis Catholic Academy last month.
“She gives everything to dig a ball up and is an incredible defensive player,” Seibold said.
Sophomore Alison Scarborough, one of two captains along with Keith, is fourth on the team with 71 kills and third with 143 digs. She leads the team with 65 aces and 225 assists.
The Minutemen will compete in the Florida Christian Athletic League (FCAL) Tournament this week, followed by the Class 2A-District 4 Tournament next week.
Countryside Christian will face Redeemer Christian (Ocala) at 5 p.m. today at Meadowbrook Academy in Ocala in round two of the FCAL tournament. They swept RCHS (12-3) at home in their only meeting on Sept. 20.
If the Minutemen win, they will play again on Thursday.
The FCAL Tournament will serve as a good tune up for next week’s competitive district tournament, which includes Oak Hall School of Gainesville (16-7), St. Johns Country Day of Orange Park (13-4), and Christ’s Church Academy (11-5) of Jacksonville.
Countryside Christian and Seibold will be guests on “The Prep Zone” sports show at Sonic Drive-In this Wednesday from 7 to 8 p.m. You can listen to the show on 106.9 FM and online at IamCountryRadio.com.