TAMPA — Indian Rocks Christian earned the right to play in its third consecutive Class 2A, District 9 final by sweeping Calvary Christian 25-19, 25-22, 25-19.
Tampa Prep completed the other half to Thursday's district final matchup, as it defeated Bishop McLaughlin in three games, 25-9, 25-10, 25-10. From the opening serve, the Hurricanes executed poorly by not completing passes and failing to communicate with each other, resulting in a large Tampa Prep lead early.
The Terrapins' play resembled just the opposite. Dana Malinowski and Ericka McGriff overpowered Bishop McLaughlin's defenders, each finishing with 10 kills at the net. Caroline Dillabough also had 29 assists.
"Indian Rocks always brings their A-game when they play us, so we're going to have to bring ours," Tampa Prep coach Mike Flynn said.
IRC's match featured back and forth scoring, but the Golden Eagles finished on a 6-0 run to capture the first game. It seemed Indian Rocks started Game 2 where it left off after taking a 13-4 lead, but Calvary Christian made sure the Golden Eagles earned the win. Led by outside hitter Shannon O'Donell, the Warriors came back and took a brief lead, but Indian Rocks was resilient and escaped with a two games to none lead.
"We got very complacent with that big lead and became single-minded offensively," Indian Rocks coach Mark Foster said.