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Plant volleyball sweeps through Gator Town Classic

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Mon. September 14, 2009 | Eduardo A. Encina

The Plant volleyball team was able to add one more tournament onto their schedule once the FHSAA rescinded the maximum contest reduction.

So the Panthers, the 23rd ranked team in the nation according to PrepVolleyball.com, were a late addition to this past weekend's Gator Town Classic at Buchholz High School in Gainesville, the first time they participated in the fourth-year event.

The Panthers left Gainesville with the tournament title, winning all five matches and defeating Martin County, 25-23, 25-23, 23-25, 25-12, in Saturday's championship match. Plant dropped just one game the entire weekend.

"It was a great weekend," Plant coach Leanna Taylor said. "It was an early-season measurrment against some strong 5A schools. It was nice to see the girls react to some pressure, especially the new girls on the court."

Plant outside hitter Maddie Martin was named the tournament MVP tallied 17 kills in the championship match. Senior Libero Ali McCurdy had 15 digs and senior setter Becca Howard (left) had 50 assists against Martin County, with both receiving all-tournament team honors.

"(Howard) was making every hitter look like an all-american with her sets," Taylor said.

Steinbrenner Libero Cary Anne Bame also made the all-tournament team. The Warriors (8-3) went 3-2 over the weekend.

Plant (8-0) next faces Alonso on Tuesday. On Oct. 1-2, the Panthers will play in the Mother McAuley Nike Challenge in Chicago, a top national tournament.

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