Lady Sharks Volleyball Team Bring Home State Title

The Miami Dade College women’s volleyball team won the Florida College System Activities Association State Tournament in early November, one year after suffering through a 13-17 season.  

It is MDC’s 43rd state championship in volleyball.

“I feel good. It’s a great accomplishment since we didn’t even make it last year to the state tournament,” said Lady Sharks Head Coach Origenes “Kiko” Benoit. “Coming back this year to win it all is awesome.”

The Lady Sharks swept Santa Fe College 3-0 in the championship.

“It wasn’t exactly easy, but we had the situation under control.  We were pretty concentrated and focused on what we had to do and that gave us the results we wanted” said Camila Hernandez, the team’s starting libero.

Massiel Matos, one of the Lady Shark’s top performers, is in the top five in the National Junior College Athletic Association rankings in three statistical categories: fourth  in serving aces per set (0.69), second in kills per set (4.73) and second in points per set (5.7).  She was named All-Southern Conference First Team,  FCSAA All-State, FCSAA All-Tournament  and was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.

Sun Wenting, an outside hitter and native of Heilongjiang, China, took home All-Southern Conference First Team and FCSAA All-Tournament Team honors.

Matos and Wenting lead the team in kills with 383 and 238 respectively.

“We play like one team,” Wenting said. “[We play as one person].”

Hernandez received All-Southern Conference First Team and FCSAA All-Tournament Team honors. Hernandez ranked fourth in the NJCAA  for digs per set with a 6.98 average.

Manuela Vargas, the starting setter for the Lady Sharks, born and raised in Colombia, won FCSAA All-Tournament and All-Southern Conference Second Team honors. Vargas led the team in assists (703) and was ranked sixth in the NJCAA in assists per set with an 11.72 average.

Deborah Constanzo and Naimir Garcia won All-Southern Conference Second Team honors.

Constanzo, a right side hitter and native of the Dominican Republic, leads the team in total blocks (60), blocks per set (0.71 blocks per set), and is third on the team in kills (140) and hitting percentage (.336).

In addition, Benoit was named the 2016 NJCAA Region 8/FCSAA State Coach of the Year. This is Benoit’s ninth State Coach of the Year award since taking over as head coach of the Lady Sharks in 2005.

The Lady Sharks are now 19-5 overall, with a 6-2 conference record.

“I think it shows the hard work that we did as a team, and the dedication that they have,” Benoit said.