KISSIMMEE — Following the first game of Thursday night's Class 2A state semifinal volleyball match, Foundation Academy coach Danny Eleutiza felt pretty good about his team's chances against Hollywood Sheridan Hills Christian.
"We never take anything for granted, but after the first game was over with, I was thinking it was pretty much our game," said Eleutiza, a first-year head coach who led Winter Springs to the said. "To me, it looked like we were better on offense and defense."
Eleutiza's feelings were right as the Lions (27-3) quickly finished off Sheridan Hills Christian 3-0 (25-11, 25-9, 25-14) to advance into Friday night's championship game at the Silver Spurs Arena. Foundation will meet the defending state champs, Lake Worth Christian, which also won its semifinal math with Tallahassee John Paul II 3-0.
Foundation, which has been in the playoffs for the last five years but has never reached the state tournament, will play for its first state title.
"I am real excited about it," said senior Halee Davis, who had seven kills. "I think the way we started off the season, I don't want to say slow, but we just got better and better as the season went on. We played bigger schools and did great against them.
"That boosted our confidence."
The Sharks (14-8) were severely hindered when Caitlyn McCluskey, the team's kills leader with 523 entering the match, injured her right shoulder three points into the game. Though she continued to play, she was ineffective and only had one kill.
"I was heartbroken at first," said McCluskey, whose shoulder was wrapped in ice during the postgame press conference. "But things happen for a reason. I gave my all for the team."
Setter Megan Miller led Foundation with 27 assists and Lauren Miller and BreAnna Holder had eight kills each.