TAMPA — This wasn't about revenge.
At least that's what Berkeley Prep coach John Coup said after his Bucs got even with the Academy of The Holy Names with a 25-18, 26-24, 25-9 road win in the Class 4A-Region 3 semifinals.
Holy Names beat Berkeley to win the district title last week. It was the first time the Jaguars had beaten Berkeley Prep since 1981. Coup said it wasn't about getting even and having to travel to Holy Names.
“We just had our game going,'' Coup said. “That was as inspired a team we played against all year. We just had our A-game going tonight.''
Maddie Raquet had six aces to lead the Bucs while Logan Weldon and Sidney Brown combined for 25 kills. Morgan Reyes added 25 digs.
“We turned it around in the second game and it was back and forth until then.” Coup said. “We did what we had to do.''
In front of a raucous crowd, Berkeley Prep won the first game with a closing charge, then the two teams battled back and forth throughout the second set. The Bucs had no problem in the third set, closing out the match.
5A-3: Robinson sweeps Bayshore to advance
TAMPA — The Robinson High volleyball team needed just 58 minutes to dismantle Bradenton Bayshore, winning 3-0 (25-9, 25-14, 25-8) in a Class 5A-Region 3 semifinal.
Catia Sleet had 11 kills and Kylee Gorngpratum had 29 assists, seven aces and four kills to pace the Knights (13-13), who tallied 35 kills as a team against only 15 errors. They will face Naples Lely on Saturday in the region final.
“What I'm most pleased with is that everybody is contributing,” coach Christen Garcia said. “We've really worked hard on minimizing our errors.”
The Knights never allowed Bayshore (12-12) to score three consecutive points, and only trailed at the beginning of the first set, when they had four attack errors in the first six points. But a 7-0 run on Lauren Wheatley's serve gave them the lead for good. They closed out the opening set on a 12-0 run, which came on Alexandra Peterson's serve.
But the most impressive service run was in the final set, when Gorngpratum had six aces in an eight-point stretch to give Robinson a 17-4 lead. The Knights went on to have more aces (16) than Bayshore had kills (12).
Wheatley added nine kills, three aces and two blocks. Lauren Peterson had eight kills, nine digs and four aces, and Alexandra Peterson had 10 digs.
6A-3: Mitchell wins thriller vs. Osceola
TRINITY — Continuing its best season in program history, Mitchell clinched its first region final berth, holding on to win a thrilling, and exhausting, five-game match against district foe Seminole Osceola (23-25, 25-21, 27-25, 20-25, 15-7).
The Mustangs (24-5), who have won 20 straight, will host Venice on Saturday in the 6A-Region 3 final.
“It's a great honor, but its been a team effort,” said Mitchell senior outside hitter Ryleigh Hill, who had 16 digs in Game 2. “We needed endurance and focus because there were a lot of long rallies, but we got this because we really wanted this.”
Mitchell was led by senior Daniele Green, who had 13 kills, while Kayla Widera had a match-winning kill in Game 5, plus a game-winning block in the extended Game 3 that saw numerous lead changes. The Warriors (14-10) saw senior outside hitter Emily Barton have a game-high 21 kills, including leading the way for a 7-0 rally in Game 3.
The Mustangs have now beaten Osceola four times this season, while three of the matches have gone to Game 5. Mitchell benefited from many Warrior forced errors in Tuesday's final set.
“I was hoping it would be like the King game (last week),” Barton said. “There are times were we seem like we can play with or beat anyone and then we face Mitchell. We lost communication, just like every other time we've met.”
5A-3: Fivay rallies to hold off Anclote
HUDSON — The goal that Fivay set back in the summer months has been reached.
Well, almost. The Falcons' priority a few months ago was to make a consecutive region final appearance, but Fivay is also looking to advance to the state semifinals. Fivay is one step closer, as the Falcons needed late rallies to sweep district rival Anclote in straight sets 26-24, 25-22, 26-24 in a Class 5A-Region 3 semifinal.
“Anclote is a really tough opponent and they know us very well,” Fivay coach Nikki Pollock said. “I told the girls to stay in the game and play our game. Give credit to my team, they just do not give up.”
Fivay (24-6) had a seemingly comfortable 19-12 lead in the first set, but Anclote (22-8) rallied to eventually tie the set up at 21 and even took a brief 23-21 advantage. After a timeout, Fivay was able to regain momentum and aided by a couple key kills from sisters Ashleigh (15 kills) and Briannah Nemetz (13 kills), the Falcons were able to come away with a 26-24 win.
The second and third sets featured much of the same back-and-forth action, but Anclote led for most of the matches except for when it counted most toward the end.
“We just have to keep working hard as a team and hopefully that'll bring us to the final four,” Ashleigh Nemetz said.