WATCH: Merritt Island Mustangs Volleyball Team Focused on Winning State Title in 2018
By Alan Zlotorzynski, Senior Editor // August 7, 2018
Denauburg, Henson captain state title hopefuls
ABOVE VIDEO: Space Coast Daily continues its high school fall camp reports with the Merritt Island Mustang Volleyball team. Space Coast Daily’s Alan Zlotorzynski speaks with head coach and Space Coast Sports Hall of Famer Angie Patrick as well as junior Bobbie Jo Schwantz and seniors Shae Henson and Lexy Denaburg.
BREVARD COUNTY • MERRITT ISLAND, FLORIDA – Under the leadership of Space Coast Sports Hall of Famer Angie Patrick, the Merritt Island Mustangs volleyball team has been a force not just in Brevard County but in the entire state of Florida.
For the upcoming season, the goal is simple for the Mustangs, win a state championship.
According to many of the players I spoke with, anything less would not be considered a success.
This isn’t just players talking to hype the upcoming season.
This may be as good of an opportunity for the Mustangs to stand on top of the Class 6A podium since their four-set win over Gulf Breeze to capture the 2011 Class 5A State Championship.
To win a state title Merritt Island will have to get past another volleyball force in Florida, their nemesis, the Bishop Moore Hornets.
The Hornets have sent the Mustangs back to the Island in each of the past three seasons while they went on to claim two of the past three 6A state championships.
To capture a second state title coach Patrick will lean heavily on senior captains Lexy Denaburg and Shae Henson.
Denaburg, the reigning two time Space Coast Daily Breakfast of Champions Volleyball Player of the Year, is arguably the best player in the region.
Committed to play on the beach for the current national champion UCLA Bruins once she’s done with high school, Denaburg has grown to 5’11” adding much-needed height to a Mustang lineup that lacked this type of size when facing Bishop Moore in the past three regional semifinals.
ABOVE VIDEO: Angie Patrick was inducted into the 2014 Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame.
Denaburg enters her senior campaign with an already astounding 942 kills and 504 digs in her three-year varsity career.
She is coming off an amazing summer in which she and her partner Rileigh Powers captured their third straight Under 18 AAU National Junior Beach Volleyball Championship.
Co-Captain and Stetson University commit Shae Henson enters her senior year with 1245 assists and 149 career service aces.
Henson, the reigning Breakfast of Champions Beach Player of the Year had quite a summer herself. Along with her partner Jacqueline Farris, Henson finished fifth overall in the U-18 Junior Beach National Championships at the end of July in Siesta Key, Florida.
Henson will play for a Stetson team next season that finished 30-8 last season and finished ranked No.16 in the country.
Senior Jasmine Sayre will also be counted on as she has 313 career digs and 417 service receptions for the Mustangs.
Another player coach Patrick expects big things from this season is junior Bobbie Jo Schwantz.
“Schwantz can do it all and after having a great summer on the beach all over the country she is ready to take her indoor game to another level,” said Patrick.
Standing six feet tall, Schwantz numbers from her sophomore season reflect her versatility. As a sophomore Schwantz had 100 kills, 17 service aces, 24 total blocks, 56 digs and 37 assists.
The Mustangs will be tested early as the 2018 season gets underway on August 16 against their local rivals, the Scorpions from Satellite Beach.
Led by coach Darren Bolton, the Scorps are expected to have a team that could give the Mustangs trouble this season in Class 6A District 14.
Coach Patrick’s 2018 senior class has won three straight district championships and posted a record of 65-15 since 2015. While those numbers are impressive and even satisfying to some, it’s not nearly enough for these Mustangs.
Beating Bishop Moore in early November would be a first for players like Denaburg and Henson but it isn’t the goal for them or their Merritt Island teammates this season.
A win over the Hornets would likely mean the Mustangs are competing in mid-November for that state championship the entire team covets as the ultimate prize in 2018.
2018 MERRITT ISLAND MUSTANGS VOLLEYBALL ROSTER
|1||Macie Sinclair||MB, OH||Fr.||5-8|
|2||Macy Reynolds||L, OH||Fr.||5-6|
|3||Penelope Colombo||DS, OH||Jr.||5-6|
|5||Jasmine Sayre||DS, L||Sr.||5-5|
|6||Lexy Denaburg||OH, MB||Sr.||5-11|
|8||Katie Callenberger||MB, RS||Fr.||5-10|
|9||Jordyn Patrick||S, RS||Fr.||5-8|
|10||Emily Callenberger||RS, OH||Jr.||5-10|
|12||Bobbie Jo Schwantz||MB, OH||Jr.||6-0|
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