Plant claims the Class 7A State title


Ellis Brandon

The Plant panthers all celebrating after winning the class 7A volleyball championship game. Everyone was smiling after their 3-2 victory again Windermere.

Hyatt Criser, Sports Editor

The Plant Panther’s volleyball team played Windermere on Nov. 18 at the Suncoast Credit Union Arena, where they competed for a state title. After Windermere won the first set, 23-25, the panthers gained momentum through energy.     

The whole game was a back-and-forth match until the fourth set when the Panthers took control of the game.   

“Having all of my closest friends on the team made our matches seem natural,” Friar said. “We clicked pretty easily at the beginning, and from there, we built on an already strong base.”

Frair had a total of 15 kills for the panthers, putting many points on the board.     

“I am super excited to claim the title of state champs with this team. I have played with most of these girls for years, and winning the rings with them during my senior year was a dream come true,” Friar said.

Plant and Windermere went back and forth, winning sets, 23-25, 25-22, 22-25, 25-13, 15-9, ending with a victory for the plant panthers. The second the fifth set started, the plant panthers did not even give the Windermere Wolverines any chance of coming back. Halfway through the set, Friar rolled her ankle. After that, Coach Sarah Reiss called a timeout to give Friar a second before going back out on the court. Frair returned to the court, not letting anything take her away from this moment with her team.   

“In the fourth and fifth set, my setter and I really connected well, and I was more confident in my hitting skills because I learned to hit around their block,” Friar said. “I was on a roll; I couldn’t come out of the game just because of a little bump in the road. It wasn’t a big enough injury for me to sit out on this amazing experience with my team; I wanted to contribute as much as I could and help us take home the gold.”    

After winning the state champion title, the game ended in a big dog-pile of all the panthers; this was the panther’s first state championship since 2010.

“Everyone had the biggest smiles on their faces, filled with joy after we had won the final point of the game,” Sophomore Quinn Morrissey said. “I remember hugging Reese after the game and just seeing how excited she was because she knew that her last high school volleyball game was a state championship.”