ST. PETERSBURG — The Clearwater Tornadoes moved their way around the court in workmanlike fashion, patiently overcoming a few misfires on kills and some wayward serves to cruise to a 25-17, 25-10, 24-26, 25-10 victory over host Northeast in the Class 5A region quarterfinals.
The Tornadoes (17-8) will play at East Lake in next week's region semifinals.
"We hadn't played Northeast before and it was a little different tempo on both sides," Clearwater coach Joe Dixon said.
"The biggest thing was, we got the win and get to move on."
In his first season with the Tornadoes, Dixon decided not to ease into the playbook, overloading his team with various plays in rotations and a number of defensive sets.
"I wanted to feed them as much as possible," Dixon said.
Clearwater showed off its versatility early on, winning the first two games with ease. The only suspense came in the third game when Dixon pulled some starters. The Vikings jumped out to an 18-14 lead, then held off a furious Tornadoes rally to win. The run was sparked by the serving of Casey Barszcz and Lauren Campbell, who each had aces.
"It was good to get everyone in for a little bit in a region match," Dixon said.
The fourth game became the deciding one with Clearwater dominating again.
Ahead 15-9, the Tornadoes closed out the match by scoring 10 of the final 11 points.
Carey Froelicher had nine kills and Kelsey Souto had six to lead Clearwater. Erin McGregor also had four service aces for the Tornadoes.