- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
The chemistry between St. Thomas Aquinas’ Halley Tang and Zoe Taylor on the beach volleyball courts is easily apparent.
“Our coaches knew that we meshed well together,” Tang said.
That chemistry led to success as the top pairing for the top team in Broward County.
It’s why Tang and Taylor are the Miami Herald’s Beach Volleyball Players of the Year.
This is Tang’s second consecutive season as a player of the year. She was on the top line with then-senior Alyssa McBean in 2022 as they helped Aquinas make it to state in the inaugural season of the FHSAA sanctioning the sport.
This year, she paired up with fellow junior Taylor as Aquinas’ No. 1 duo. Together, they set the tone for the Raiders to have yet another successful season.
St. Thomas Aquinas went 12-5 and once again punched its ticket to state but lost in the first round in Tallahassee to eventual state runner-up Westminster Christian.
“We definitely made the most out of all our games,” Taylor said. “There definitely were some teams that were a little easier, but we made sure to play to our level, our standard. We always know how to hype each other up on the court and just cheer each other on. It’s also fun when we finish our game to cheer all the other girls on during their games. I feel like the energy between us and the rest of the team has been pretty fun the whole year.”
And St. Thomas Aquinas is poised to make another run next season.
The Raiders only graduate one player from their team this year. Both of their top two pairings this year — Tang and Taylor on the top court, Kristi Talocka and Sophia Alvarado at No. 2 — were comprised of juniors.
“This team has been pretty much the same the past two years,” Taylor said. “The team at its core is mainly sophomores and juniors. ... We’ve been playing together for a long time and we’re all very friendly with each other. We all love bonding and cheering each other on. It works out pretty well.”