ST. PETERSBURG — Throughout the season, St. Petersburg scorched opponents, winning all 17 matches heading into the second round of regions in Class 4A.
But to advance Thursday, the Green Devils knew they would have to beat another undefeated team, Plant.
It was too tough of a task. The Panthers, the defending Class 3A state champions who moved up to 4A this year, won 8-0.
"I figured this would be our toughest match of the season," Plant coach Lynn Vu said. "But we played well, even beyond what I expected."
The Panthers' hardest match came at No. 1 singles, where Amber Li defeated Emily Dvorak 6-3, 4-6 (10-8). After that, Plant cruised with No. 2 Blair Martin (6-3, 6-1), No. 3 Claire Mitchell Andrews (6-1, 6-0), No. 4 Carol Marie Farley (6-0, 6-2) and No. 5 Morgan Nolan (6-0, 6-2) each winning easily.
In doubles, it was more of the same. Li and Andrews beat Dvorak and Agatha Ambrozy 8-2 at No. 1. Martin and Farley combined in an 8-0 victory over Sunshine Beba and Courtney Howard at No. 2.
A: AHN gets it done
Bianca Roberts lost the first set. Squandered two match points. Then she won.
Roberts did it the hard way; the rest of her teammates did it the easy way. But it all added up to a 4-1 victory for Academy of the Holy Names over Winter Haven All-Saints in Brandon and a trip to the state tournament.
Roberts set the tone with her win at No. 1, which turned out to be the clincher. With No. 2 Caroline Lozo (6-2, 6-3), No. 3 Christina Socias (6-3, 6-1) and No. 4 Christine Holcomb (6-4, 6-2) posting wins, it was Roberts who had to fight for the magic number of 4.
After a pep talk from co-coach Jonathan Collazo after the first set, Roberts cruised in the second and led the third 6-5 and served for the match at 40-15. But she was broken and had to polish off Erica Fox 7-4 in a tiebreaker.
"We're young, we survived a tough district, and now we're just going to go to state and play loose and have some fun," coach Allen Liberato said.
3A: King upended
Gibbs beat King at the Temple Terrace Rec Center, completing an improbable journey to the state tournament. The Gladiators, who have five players, won at Nos. 1, 2, 4 and 5 singles to render doubles moot at the Class 3A regionals.
The lone winner for the Lions was No. 3 Jayash Ramanathan, who beat Ebony Lamar 6-0, 7-5.
2A: Steinbrenner falls
At Lutz, Steinbrenner's inaugural season ended one dual match from the state tournament.
Coach Karen Olson's squad, undefeated against 2A opposition, dropped three singles matches en route to a 4-3 loss to Englewood Lemon Bay.
Junior No. 1 singles player Kaleigh Wagner gave the Warriors an early edge with a 6-0, 6-0 dismantling of Anita Vorlicek. She advances to the individual portion of next week's state tournament by virtue of winning a district title at No. 1 singles and a doubles crown with Tatum Brannan.
Times staff writers Joey Knight and John C. Cotey contributed to this report.