BRADENTON — The Bayshore Christian Faith Warriors hoped Saturday's Class 1A region final would lead to a return trip to the Lakeland Center and the state final four.
But the Bradenton Christian Panthers knocked out the defending state champs with a 25-15, 25-22, 25-18 sweep.
"This is really heartbreaking," Bayshore coach Melanie Humenansky said. "We knew it'd be a roller-coaster year after losing four starters."
Bradenton Christian won this season's previous meeting in five games, but it was able to sustain runs this time around.
"I can't pinpoint one area where they were able to keep us from going on runs," Humenansky said. "We definitely didn't have one of our top performances."
Riding the serve of Maria DeKuiper, the Panthers went on a 14-1 run to close out the first game.
"They were able to break our serve return game, and we were never able to run our offense," Humenansky said.
The Faith Warriors had a seven-point run in Game 2 behind Gabby Fernandez's serve, but a rally fell short.
Then Bayshore took a 10-6 lead in Game 3, but the Panthers put together more strings of points to catch up and close out the match.
"This season is still something to be proud of," Humenansky said.