For the Palmetto girls’ volleyball team, it was a case of “double-trouble” on Wednesday night.
That being the Thomas twins, Mia and Mya. Together, the two seniors led the way for the Southwest Eagles as they easily dispatched Palmetto in straight sets 25-9, 25-9, 25-15 in a Region 4-9A quarterfinal contest at Southwest High School.
And with that, Southwest (18-4) won just its second regional playoff match since the Eagles last made it to the state final four in 2004 and advance to next week’s regional semifinal where they will host Coral Reef which defeated Lourdes in four sets in its quarterfinal match.
“Because we are sisters, our connection on the court is better than most setters and hitters but as a team as whole, we’ve maintained a strong chemistry and we’re all really close,” said Mya who is the team’s outside hitter and finished with 10 kills. “Everybody has done their job this season to get us this far and now it’s a better of keeping this thing going.”
A lot of those kills were set up by her sister Mia who is the team’s setter.
“Even though we played Palmetto earlier in the season and beat them easily, we still came in here tonight not trying to think about that but just maintain our focus and not take them for granted,” said Mia Thomas. “We don’t take anyone lightly, always play as hard as we can and we did that out there tonight.”
Southwest head coach Alex Rivero made no bones about it when asked about his top twin players.
“Mia and Mya were actually the main reason I came to Southwest to coach,” said Rivero who was a member of the Southwest boys team when they won a state title in 2009. “I’ve known them since they were 11, they’ve played for my travel ball team and when I heard I had the opportunity to come over here and coach the two of them, I made the sacrifice to come over here.”
According to their mom Donna, a teacher and the girls basketball coach at the school and whose two daughters also play basketball for her, the college offers have not come in yet but the phone could start ringing soon.”
“Those girls, to me they are the epitome of .... let me put it this way, they hate losing more than they enjoy winning,” said Rivero. “They’re going to go out there and find a way to win. Obviously everybody comes up short now and then but they are the leaders of this team. Everybody looks to them for answers, everybody looks to them on the court to match their level of play.”
▪ Region 4-7A quarterfinal - St. Thomas Aquinas d. Dwyer 25-15, 25-7, 25-4: Amelia McCrory 7 kills, 2 blocks, 3 digs, 5 aces and 16 service points; Derry Costigan 13 assists, 3 aces and 4 service points; Meg Dolph 7 kills, 7 digs; Paula Cerame 5 digs, 2 kills, 5 aces and 11 service points; STA 19-5.