TAMPA — Tampa Catholic’s final error had barely hit the floor when Academy of the Holy Names began to celebrate. And in the center towered Jaguars junior Courtney Vogler.
The 6-foot-2 outside hitter recorded six blocks and 12 kills to lead the Jaguars past the host Crusaders 25-17, 17-25, 25-15, 25-13 in Tuesday night’s Class 4A, District 10 semifinal. The win puts Holy Names back into the playoffs for the second time in three years and sets up a district final showdown against Berkeley Prep on Thursday.
“I know the girls wanted to pour their heart and soul into the match,” Holy Names coach Jeff Davis said. “I think they showed up big time. They weren’t ready to be done playing for Academy.”
AHN (14-12) quickly showed it had learned from last month’s 3-1 loss to the Crusaders (15-5). The Jaguars scored the match’s first four points and, thanks to three early blocks by Vogler, jumped ahead 19-9 before Tampa Catholic caught its breath.
“We knew what we wanted to do from playing them before, and we were just executing,” Davis said.
Tampa Catholic made a run in the second. The Crusaders capitalized on a dozen AHN errors and used three timely kills by sophomore Abby Zimroth to tie.
But Vogler and the Jaguars had too much power. Vogler had six kills in the final game, including a spike for her team’s second-to-last point, to put the match away.
“The last game, I thought she just said, ‘Look, I want to win and I’m gonna go up and put the ball away,’ ” Davis said.
AHN freshman Camille Opp had four kills and two aces, and senior Amanda Brennan recorded four kills and three blocks for Tampa Catholic.
The Jaguars will face a rested Berkeley Prep for the district championship.
The defending Class 4A state finalists rested some their starters, including star Sidney Brown, against winless Sarasota Booker. The Tornadoes recorded only seven kills and never threatened in the Buccaneers’ 25-12, 25-11, 25-10 victory.
Senior Logan Weldon led Berkeley Prep (19-6) with 10 kills. Dallas Adams added eight kills, and Bridgette O’Carroll had a team-high three aces to secure her team’s 19th consecutive playoff appearance.
5A-9: Middleton moves on
In the first round of the three-team Class 5A-9 district tournament, No. 2 seed Middleton defeated No. 3 Spoto 25-14, 25-14, 25-18.
Thursday at Spoto, top-seeded Robinson will take on Middleton for the district championship. The Knights (10-13, 4-0) swept Middleton (3-15, 1-3) twice during the regular season.