Top Team - November 2011

Sponsored by Joto's Pizza

Pinellas Park/Largo
9119 Belcher Road
1280 W. Bay Dr.
13050 Park Blvd.

Pinellas Preparatory Academy
Phoenix Flyers Girls Volleyball

A perfect season is a pretty lofty goal, but to this month’s Joto’s Top Team, the Pinellas Preparatory Academy girls volleyball team, it was achievable!

The PPA Phoenix Flyers’ bid for a perfect season began with a closely contested match versus Clearwater Academy. PPA and CA split the first two games, but the Flyers held on to win the tiebreaker with a score of 17-15.

For the next two months, the Flyers were unstoppable, winning ten consecutive matches without being forced to play a single tiebreaker.

Then came the final match of the season: a rematch with Clearwater Academy. The Flyers had a rough start, losing the first game 12-25. They won game two, forcing the match into a tiebreaker. In game three, Clearwater Academy took an early lead, but the Flyers would not give up their perfect season without a fight! They took 13 of the last 16 points to pull out the win with a score of 15-9, ending the season just as they had started it: with a victory.

What was the formula for such an excellent season? For PPA, it was the combined efforts of dedicated players, hard-working coaches, and supportive parents.

Dedicated Players

“The season was great for many reasons,” said Coach Ricardo Charria, “the first one being the amazing group of players we have and their dedication to success on the court.” Captain Kara Close—a quiet, consistent eighth grader—led by her example, remaining calm under pressure. Eighth grader Elinor Gale, “the vocal leader,” encouraged her teammates when they played well and also when they struggled. Other team leaders were Alexandra Ryan, an eighth grader who once served 16 points in a row, and Alyssa Bounthisavath, a seventh grader with excellent all-around skills.

Hard-working Coaches

Eighth graders Kayleigh Mezerowsky and Elinor Gale agreed that their coaches “expect highly” of the players. Charria definitely expected hard work. “Mr. C. was awesome but intense! He worked us hard,” explained Kara. Eighth grader Hannah Gould added, “The fact that he is so strict made us good.” Charria also expected consistent improvement, pushing his players to “get better every game and limit the mistakes that were made in prior games.”

Supportive Parents

Coach Charria attributes much of his team’s success to “the amazing support of PPA parents.” One such parent was Joi Bounthisavath, PPA’s assistant coach for the last four years. Ha Bounthisavath was another devoted supporter, cheering at every game, making team t-shirts, and making bows for fund-raising.

Thanks to the dedication of players, coaches, and parents, the Phoenix Flyers had a stellar season. It may be safe to say that no goal is too high for his team!

Nominate Your Top Team

If you wish to nominate a “Top Team of the Month” please send an email to or simply drop off your nomination at your local Joto’s Pizzeria.

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