Holy Trinity off to 2-0 start after sweeping Cocoa in volleyball home opener


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Holy Trinity senior Mackenzie Sands (No. 10) had eight kills in a three-game sweep of Cocoa Tuesday night.

VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala

The Holy Trinity volleyball team played its second game in as many nights as the fall sports season kicked off this week.

And despite getting off to a bit of a slow start against visiting Cocoa, Holy Trinity improved to 2-0 Tuesday night with a 25-12, 25-8, 25-11 sweep in its home opener.

“I think we were a little underprepared coming in,” Holy Trinity coach Pete Klonowski said. “It’s been quick. We had about a week-and-a-half of practice, we played (Monday) night.

“We’re a young team and we’ve got a lot of things to work on, but it’s getting better every day.”

Holy Trinity (2-0) was led by its trio of seniors. Olivia Yochim led the way for the Tigers with 12 kills, three blocks and nine aces. Setter Taylor Mullen had 41 assists and eight aces. Mackenzie Sands had eight kills.

Sophomore Sophia Panarese, the only other returning player on this year’s varsity, also had a big night with 11 kills, eight digs and 14 aces.

Junior Sydney Brito had six assists, freshman Maya Collins had 11 digs and eighth grader Isabelle Clark had two blocks.

Although Holy Trinity never appeared in danger of dropping a set, the Tigers from Cocoa were able to keep things close early on.

“I thought the energy level was really low in the first set,” Klonowski said. “That’s the kind of stuff that concerns me, that sometimes we’re not really going at it at 100 percent.”

Sands, who thought the Tigers played well overall, said the team’s energy level picked up as the match went along.

“I think we came into it a little tired, but once we got our heads into the game, our energy level rose,” she said. “I think that’s when we started playing better.”

The start of fall sports this week was a welcome sight for players, parents and coaches after the coronavirus pandemic pushed the start of practice back from its original start date of July 24 to Aug. 31.

Under the fall sports plan implemented by Brevard Public Schools for this season, all teams in the county will play a regular season that consists of only in-county opponents.

Holy Trinity, which swept MCC on Monday night, will also be facing Viera, Astronaut, Space Coast, Rockledge, Merritt Island, Edgewood, Titusville and Cocoa Beach during a 10-game regular season before chasing what would be an eighth straight district championship.

Next up for the Tigers will be a matchup with Cocoa Beach Thursday night at Holy Trinity. The varsity match is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. and will be preceded by Senior Night festivities for Yochim, Sands and Mullen.