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Saturday, May 26, 2018
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Prep volleyball: Region Quarterfinals Preview

Wharton at Bradenton Manatee: The Wildcats, who last played in the regionals in 2012, are 0-8 all-time in the playoffs. Manatee has advanced to the region playoffs the past two seasons; last year, the Hurricanes lost to Bloomingdale in the first round.

Palm Harbor at Bloomingdale: Bloomingdale lost to Palm Harbor in the region semifinals last season in three sets. Under first-year coach Claudia Cabrera, the Bulls, who have just one loss this season, won the program’s first district title since 2006 to secure home-court advantage.

Class 6A-3

Osceola at King: King is seeking its first playoff win since 2005 — Osceola defeated King in this round last year, 3-2. The Lions’ 19-2 record is the program’s best record in recent memory.

Hillsborough at Mitchell: Mitchell defeated the Terriers 3-1 last season in the first round. Hillsborough is 0-4 all-time in the region playoffs. The Mustangs feature big hitters Bailey Sassatelli and Kayla Widera.

Class 4A-2

Ridgewood at Gainesville P.K. Yonge: The Rams return to the postseason led by Aubree Sigismondi, who has 168 kills and 31 aces. Ridgewood found it tough going against district champ Ocala Trinity Catholic, and now faces the Buccaneers, ranked No. 2 in the state.

Class 4A-3

Academy of the Holy Names at Lake Placid: Holy Names advanced to the region semifinals last season with a win against Avon Park. The Jaguars have been led by Georgia commit Courtney Vogler.

Avon Park at Berkeley Prep: Berkeley Prep, which reached the 4A state semifinals last season, defeated top seed Holy Names in the district final to secure home-court advantage. The Buccaneers defeated Lake Placid, 3-0, last season in the first round.

Class 2A-7

Canterbury at Tampa Bay HEAT: Canterbury upset Bayshore Christian in the district semifinals to secure a playoff berth, while Tampa Bay HEAT won its second straight district title. The 2013 season marked the HEAT’s first as an official FHSAA member. That team advanced to the elite eight.

Cambridge Christian at Keswick Christian: Cambridge Christian beat Bayshore Christian last season in the quarterfinals before losing to Tampa Bay HEAT.

WEDNESDAY

Class 7A-2

Freedom at Durant: Freedom is making its fourth region appearance but is still seeking its first postseason win. Durant, which is riding an undefeated record, defeated Wiregrass Ranch last year to advance to the region semifinals.

Strawberry Crest at Steinbrenner: Strawberry Crest made two previous trips to the regionals and is still seeking its first win. Steinbrenner, meanwhile, won its sixth straight district title last week with a core group of players that helped the team reach the 7A state semifinals in 2013.

Class 5A-2

Fivay at Brooksville Hernando: The Falcons, who are back-to-back region finalists, are led by their two big hitters, Alli Hudson (281 kills) and Amber Lake (213 kills). Lindsey Christianson leads the team with 285 digs. Hernando is led by sophomore Alice Bronson, who has 289 kills and 25 blocks.

Weeki Wachee at Sunlake: The Hornets are led by sophomore Miranda Werkmeister, who has a team-high 259 kills, while Zoe Murchio has 515 digs. Sunlake is in its first region tournament in program history and is led by senior outside hitter Sarah Sprague, who has 305 kills, 50 aces and 104 digs. Kelsey Riquelme has 64 aces, 75 blocks and 211 kills.

Class 5A-3

Middleton at Boca Ciega: Middleton is making its second straight regional appearance and second in program history. The Tigers lost to Bayshore in the quarterfinal round last season.

Bradenton Southeast at Robinson: Robinson defeated Southeast 3-0 in the first round last season en route to the team’s first state final four appearance since 1978.

Class 3A-2

Winter Haven All Saints’ vs. Carrollwood Day at Lutz Prep: The Patriots not only secured their first region playoff berth, but also their first district title in an upset over Tampa Prep.

Tampa Prep at Lakeland Christian: Tampa Prep defeated Lakeland Christian 3-0 in the quarterfinals last season and went on to reach the region championship. The Terrapins have not lost a first-round region playoff match since 2006.

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