LAND O'LAKES — The one-hour trip from Pinellas County is long and boring.
None of the girls from Lakeside Christian or Canterbury seemed to mind having to come back once more after winning Class A, District 9 semifinal matches Tuesday. Both secured spots in the region tournament with the focus now shifting to Thursday's match for the district title and homecourt advantage to begin the playoffs.
Canterbury cruised over Citrus Park 3-0. And a young Lakeside team made up of freshmen and sophomores earned the upset of the night, edging host Academy at the Lakes 3-2.
Canterbury's victory made coach John Milkovich smile throughout. The Crusaders had swept every regular-season match in the district, and are the defending champions.
They showed why with pinpoint serving and power shots to keep Citrus Park out of contention, winning in straight games 25-16, 25-11, 25-7.
Canterbury was led by Megan Burgess with 12 aces and 10 kills. Macey Hall chipped in with 12 assists and Caitlyn Lincoln had eight aces.
In the first match, Lakeside got 20 kills from sophomore Hannah Ray, great blocking from sisters Danielle and Rachel Mostert and 41 assists from freshman Brianna Smith in winning 23-25, 25-15, 25-23, 20-25, 15-10. AATL was led by sophomores Amber Hay and Ashley Fryar, and eighth-grader Caci Andreychuk.