Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

5A-9 volleyball: PHU, East Lake sweep into final

Top-seeded East Lake celebrates a kill by Karly Gilchrist to win the second game against Tarpon Springs.


Top-seeded East Lake celebrates a kill by Karly Gilchrist to win the second game against Tarpon Springs.

PALM HARBOR — Palm Harbor University and East Lake produced two of the finest regular-season matches of the year.

Thursday, they'll get a chance to recreate that magic for the Class 5A, District 9 title.

Host PHU, surprisingly, had little difficulty dispatching defending champion Clearwater 25-18, 26-24, 25-9 in the first semifinal. The Hurricanes (22-3) built an 18-7 lead to take control of Game 1, fought back from a 21-17 deficit to win Game 2 from the Tornadoes (15-9) and cruised to an overwhelming victory in the final game.

"We wanted to put the match to bed," PHU's Cassie Roy said. "We didn't want to let them win a game and take it to four. We beat them in five the first time, four the second match so our goal was three tonight."

Tarpon Springs gave top-seeded East Lake all it wanted in the second semifinal before falling 25-23, 26-24, 25-11.

The Eagles (17-7) trailed 19-12 in Game 1 before creeping back to tie at 23. A Jackie Wegner kill (team-high 13 total) and Karly Gilchrist ace sealed the come-from-behind victory for East Lake.

East Lake led most of Game 2 before Tarpon tied the score at 23 all. Consecutive kills, however, from Brittnay Estes and Gilchrist gave the Eagles the win in the second game. Tarpon (11-8), which played great defense all night, ran out of gas in Game 3.

"(Tarpon) was jacked up and digging everything we hit," East Lake coach Terry Small said. "They were sending balls over to make us make an error, and we weren't as ready as we needed to be."

Thursday's final between PHU and East Lake will be a rubber match of sorts after the teams split during the regular season. Each won on its home court, with the Eagles taking the most recent match.

Bryan Burns can be reached at

5A-9 volleyball: PHU, East Lake sweep into final 10/28/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 28, 2008 11:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Joe Maddon gets warm reception in return to the Trop

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The night was arranged to honor former Rays manager Joe Maddon in his first visit back to the Trop, and the standing ovation from the bipartisan crowd and scoreboard video tribute seemed proper acknowledgments of his hefty role in the Rays' success during his nine-year stint.

    Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon (70) talks with reporters during a press conference before the start of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017.
  2. Rays vs. Cubs, 7:10 p.m. Wednesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Cubs

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM; 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays' Blake Snell poses for a picture during the team's photo day at baseball spring training in Port Charlotte, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Cubs game

    The Heater

    Chris Archer's night ended with his 11th loss, but he and the Rays should feel good about his six solid innings. After the forearm tightness scare in Chicago, he had two rough outings (15 hits, 11 runs, seven innings), so Tuesday was a reassuring rebound.

  4. At 6-8, Lightning prospect Oleg Sosunov comes with, and needs, a high ceiling

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — When Hall of Famer Phil Esposito first saw Lightning prospect Oleg Sosunov, he joked that the 6-foot-8 defenseman could reach the Amalie Arena ceiling.

    Lightning 6-foot-8 defenseman Oleg Sosunov competes in the preseason opener. Phil Esposito jokes that Sosunov can reach the ceiling at Amalie Arena.
  5. Jones: Rays' Kevin Cash doesn't mind following in Joe Maddon's steps

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — On this particular night, he's the other guy. He's like a talk-show guest scooted to the end of the couch. He is Kevin Cash. And the Rays manager is standing in the home dugout at Tropicana Field.

    ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 17: Manager Kevin Cash (L) of the Tampa Bay Rays reacts to action during the game against the Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field on September 17, 2017 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr./Getty Images) 700012494