HomeTeam 25: Volleyball rankings, Week 7
1. Carrollwood Day (17-2)
This week: Tuesday at Seffner Christian
Scoop: The Patriots may have to shake off some rust after taking more than a week off for service missions. There is only one match this week and one next week against Wiregrass Ranch, so the Patriots are easing into postseason play.
2. Berkeley Prep (10-7)
This week: Tuesday vs. Brooks DeBartolo, Thursday vs. Shorecrest
Scoop: The Bucs went 2-4 at the Asics Challenge in Chicago over the weekend, but we’ll cut them some slack because of the level of competition they’ve faced; the Bucs’ seven losses this season have all been to highly successful teams. They should get a bit of a break against the Phoenix before playing Shorecrest in their regular-season finale.
3. Palm Harbor University (15-2)
This week: Monday vs. Tampa Catholic, Tuesday at Calvary Christian, Friday-Saturday at Dig Pink OVA Tournament
Scoop: The Hurricanes cruised to four wins last week, all in straight sets. This week is heavy as well, including the competitive Dig Pink Tournament. PHU has won six straight since the Berkeley Premier and appears to be getting better as tournament time approaches.
4. Wharton (13-1)
This week: Tuesday at Leto, Thursday vs. Gaither, Friday-Saturday at Wharton Harvest Tournament
Scoop: The Wildcats are one of only two teams in Tampa Bay to have lost just once this season, and they’re currently riding a four-match win streak as they prepare to host their annual Harvest Tournament. In it they’ll face tough Freedom and Durant teams.
5. Robinson (12-3)
This week: Tuesday vs. Spoto, Thursday vs. Middleton
Scoop: The Knights have certainly ridden the momentum of two straight state final four trips this season, and their only regular-season losses have come to powerhouses in last month’s Berkeley Premier tournament. The way things are going, chances are good that Robinson could be making a third straight state semifinal appearance.
6. East Lake (14-4)
This week: Tuesday at Seminole, Thursday vs. Tarpon Springs
Scoop: The Eagles are definitely rounding into shape. They passed another test with a 3-2 win over Mitchell on Thursday. It appears as if the next toughest match is a PCAC tournament one against St. Petersburg on Oct. 14. The Eagles and Green Devils have split matches so far this season.
7. Mitchell (18-2)
This week: Tuesday at Sunlake, Wednesday at Gulf
Scoop: The Mustangs are coming off a 3-2 loss to East Lake. Their only two losses this season have been against the Eagles. Another tough one awaits against Sunlake. This is a stretch where Mitchell finds out where it stands prior to the district tournament.
8. Tampa Bay HEAT (19-3)
This week: Tuesday vs. Citrus Park Christian
Scoop: The HEAT are on a 13-match win streak, and that includes two 3-0 wins against district foe Academy at the Lakes. That gives the HEAT a stranglehold on the top seed in the upcoming 2A-8 tournament, and a head start to getting back to the state semifinals for the second year in a row.
9. Plant (14-6)
This week: Tuesday at Freedom, Thursday vs. Leto
Scoop: The Panthers lost back-to-back matches to Orlando Olympia and Miami Ferguson in a weekend tournament in late September, but those opponents have a combined four losses. Plant went on to win three straight that weekend and is now on a five-match win streak heading into the last two weeks of the regular season.
10. Shorecrest (16-3)
This week: Monday at Admiral Farragut, Thursday at Berkeley Prep
Scoop: The Chargers have played well lately, but they’ll have to play even better to finish out the season strong. Not only is there the Berkeley game this week, but matches against Northside Christian, Clearwater Central Catholic and Keswick Christian await next week.
11. Ridgewood (17-1)
This week: Wednesday at Zephyrhills, Thursday vs. River Ridge
Scoop: The Rams keep on rolling. They have won 12 straight matches and that is sure to continue until the regular-season finale against Mitchell on Oct. 15. The trio of Johannah Cummines, Aubree Sigismondi and Jada Wilks have been tough to deal with at the net.
12. Academy at the Lakes (16-4)
This week: Monday at Keswick Christian, Tuesday at Bayshore Christian, Thursday vs. Brooks DeBartolo
Scoop: The Wildcats ran into the Tampa Bay HEAT the past two weeks and didn’t fare well. They have settled into second place in 2A-8 and picked up a confidence-building 3-0 win over Keswick Christian on Monday. This is a young team, led by sophomore Gigi Chiaramonte (229 kills) and eighth-grader Lauren Reinhart (182 kills).
13. St. Petersburg (13-6)
This week: Thursday at St. Petersburg Catholic
Scoop: The Green Devils need a slow week after a stretch in which they lost to East Lake and Palm Harbor University. They will play East Lake again in the PCAC semifinal match on Oct. 14.
14. Tampa Catholic (13-7)
This week: Monday at Palm Harbor University, Tuesday at Sarasota Cardinal Mooney
Scoop: The Crusaders have hit a bit of a rough patch, falling to St. Petersburg Catholic, then Palm Harbor University on senior night. They’ll have a chance to rebound against two mediocre squads to close out the regular season.
15. Wiregrass Ranch (11-4)
This week: Monday vs. River Ridge, Tuesday at Steinbrenner, Thursday at Sickles
Scoop: Last week the Bulls were swept by Plant but bounced back with wins over Freedom and River Ridge. They have fared well in Pasco County (8-1), but their district includes tough Hillsborough schools Wharton, Plant, Freedom and Steinbrenner. The Bulls must raise their level when the district tournament rolls around.
16. Sunlake (11-5)
This week: Tuesday vs. Mitchell, Friday vs. Riverview (Wharton tournament)
Scoop: The Seahawks will certainly get a gauge on where they stand after the Mitchell match and the Wharton tournament. It is a two-team race between Mitchell and Sunlake for the top seed in Class 6A-8. Mitchell took the first meeting in five sets. Kelsey Riquelme has been the go-to player, with 155 kills, 54 aces and 44 blocks.
17. Academy of the Holy Names (11-7)
This week: Wednesday vs. Clearwater Central Catholic, Friday-Saturday at Dig Pink OVA tournament
Scoop: The Jaguars lost 3-0 to Berkeley Prep last week, putting the defending district champs in third place — behind the Bucs and Tampa Catholic — in the district standings. They have a couple regular-season games and a tournament left before trying to defend their title in what promises to be an exciting 4A-9 tournament.
18. Durant (9-5)
This week: Tuesday vs. Tampa Bay Tech, Thursday vs. Plant City, Friday-Saturday at Wharton Harvest Tournament
Scoop: The Cougars began the season with three losses in their first four matches, but they’ve cruised lately, securing big district wins against Bloomingdale and Strawberry Crest to remain undefeated in the district.
19. Cambridge Christian (12-3)
This week: Tuesday vs. Bishop McLaughlin, Thursday vs. Northside Christian
Scoop: Despite falling to district foe Tampa Prep last week, the Lancers went on to win the Bayshore tournament without dropping a set. And though they sit in fourth place in the 3A-7 standings, the second playoff spot (behind Carrollwood Day) is still anyone’s for the taking.
20. Freedom (6-3)
This week: Tuesday vs. Plant, Thursday vs. Steinbrenner, Friday vs. Wharton
Scoop: By the way things have been going, the playoff spots for 7A-8 will probably go to Wharton and Plant. The Patriots, however, likely won’t go down without a fight. They’ll have a chance to prove that this week with matches against the Panthers and Wildcats (in the Wharton Harvest Tournament).
21. Seffner Christian (11-6)
This week: Tuesday vs. Carrollwood Day, Thursday at Tampa Prep
Scoop: The Crusaders lost a couple matches in a weekend tournament, but they have a chance to seriously affect district tournament seeding this week with big matches against the Patriots and the Terrapins.
22. Indian Rocks Christian (14-8)
This week: Tuesday vs. St. Petersburg Catholic
Scoop: The Golden Eagles have won six straight matches, but St. Petersburg Catholic should provide the best competition in that stretch. That is a big district match, as IRC is chasing not only the Barons but Shorecrest and Calvary Christian in 3A-8.
23. Weeki Wachee (16-7)
This week: Tuesday vs. Central, Thursday at Hernando
Scoop: The Hornets have played a lot of matches this season, and recently they’ve been on top of their game, winning the past 10, including five in a weekend tournament. At 8-2 in the district, they should have a solid hold on the No. 2 seed in the upcoming 5A-7 tournament, especially if they can finish the regular season this week with wins against Central and Hernando.
24. Clearwater Central Catholic (5-8)
This week: Wednesday at Holy Names, Friday-Saturday at Dig Pink OVA Tournament
Scoop: The schedule is always difficult for the Marauders, and it doesn’t get any easier this week. The Dig Pink Tournament will again test a young team prior to the start of district play.
25. St. Petersburg Catholic (12-6)
This week: Tuesday at Indian Rocks Christian, Thursday vs. St. Petersburg
Scoop: The Barons have a difficult week, but they are playing well enough to pull off an upset. Senior Christiana Calandra has been by far the biggest offensive weapon with 243 kills. Junior Lindsey Robison has contributed with 62 blocks, and senior Sammi Turpin has 421 assists.
In the conversation: Brandon (5-5), Calvary Christian (8-6), Clearwater (9-9), Anclote (11-8), Seminole (12-7), Bloomingdale (7-4), Hillsborough (8-6)