A Coral Shores volleyball season chock full of tough opponents proved beneficial for Kathy Ets-Hokin’s team. Despite losses to larger schools, the Hurricanes’ season saw success with the securing of the No. 1 seed and the hoisting of a trophy.
“I told the girls not to worry about the record. Just improve and get better and win districts,” Ets-Hokin said. At one point in the season, we did lose games to 6A and 5A teams. I told them, ‘Don’t worry, when we get to districts it’s 3A teams.’”
With a first-round bye, the Lady Canes beat Palmer Trinity, 3-1, and Somerset Academy Silver Palms, 3-0, at home on Oct. 19 to win districts. The volleyball team returned home on Oct. 26 to face a tough Riviera prep team during regionals. The Bulldogs prevailed in the match, 3-0, to end the Hurricanes’ season.
Ets-Hokin said the ending of the season is bittersweet as she concludes a volleyball coaching stint that began in 2000. She coached through pregnancy with her daughter, Cam, who finished her final season on the team as she graduates this year.
“I loved coaching and teaching student-athletes to be better people,” Ets-Hokin said. “Outside of athletics, they volunteered for the Special Olympics and helped a volleyball team in the panhandle following Hurricane Michael.”
Ets-Hokin remembers an email she received from the Florida High School Athletics Association seeking assistance for a community that lost more than their volleyball gym. Spearheading relief efforts in the Keys, she worked with Miami Elite VBC, the Upper Keys Foundation and fall sports teams from the school to deliver a semi truck full of goods, as well as money, to hurricane victims who lost almost everything.
“We ended up sending $15,000 to the panhandle with truck supplies,” she said. “They were shocked and couldn’t believe this all started from the email. It wasn’t just me, but it was everybody standing outside of Winn Dixie and Forest Tek collecting donations.”
Overall, Ets-Hokin said, the Hurricanes volleyball season was a team effort with seniors Kate Johnson and Zoe Myers setting the tone with blocks and kills. Centers Camryn Ets-Hokin and Bekky Valenzuela provided offense, while sophomore Brooke Mandozzi stepped up for the team this year. Strong play was also seen from junior Kailee Reinoso and senior Samantha Martinez. Ets-Hokin also noted that 10 of her student-athletes received all-academic awards this year.
With Ets-Hokin stepping away, assistant volleyball coach Autumn Hager will step in to serve as head coach next year.
“I hope the team continues to do a lot for the community and give back,” she said.