3A-4: Anticipated rematch between Carrollwood Day, Tampa Bay HEAT
TAMPA — After comfortable victories in Wednesday’s Class 3A, District 4 semifinals, the stage is set for an intense final Thursday night at 7 — a rematch of a regular-season barn burner between Carrollwood Day School and Tampa Bay HEAT.
The first and only time CDS and the HEAT met this year, on Sept. 13, the match went five sets and concluded with CDS squeezing out a win in the last set, 15-13.
“I don’t expect much to be different this time around,” said Tampa Bay HEAT coach Mark Kachurak, who has led the HEAT to the Class 2A state semifinals the past two years before jumping up to 3A this year. “After that match (with CDS) I think we know each other pretty well. (CDS) is a little deeper than us but I know we have plenty to get the job done.”
CDS coach Eric Praetorius agreed and added that his team knows who to watch for this time around, namely HEAT outside hitter Catherine Trueheart, who led her team in kills in the first CDS match with 21.
“It should be exciting, especially because we’re hosting the districts for the first time in our new gym,” said Praetorius, who has led the Patriots to the state final four the past two years in Class 3A. “It should be a lot of fun for everyone.”
In Wednesday’s matches, both CDS (16-4) and the HEAT (14-6) were solid throughout and never really suffered any severe challenges.
In the first match, the HEAT cruised past Academy at the Lakes 25-15, 25-23, 25-15, and in the nightcap CDS defeated Bishop McLaughlin 25-17, 25-18, 25-23.
“We got to play a lot of people and get a little rest for some of our starters,” Praetorius said. “We’re ready for this.”