ST. PETERSBURG — The stranglehold with which Evangelical Christian gripped Class 2A, Region 3 over the past three years dissipated Tuesday amid a flurry of kills from Northside Christian's Callie Hasko and Jennica Mullins.
Entering the region quarterfinal with Northside, Evangelical had advanced to the state final three straight seasons, winning the championship twice.
Tradition, however, was no match for the talent up and down Northside's lineup. The Mustangs started slowly but settled midway through Game 1 to roll to a 25-17, 25-11, 25-13 victory, avenging a three-game loss to the Sentinels in last year's region playoffs.
"The tide has turned I guess," said Hasko, who led the Mustangs with 10 kills. "We've switched places."
Evangelical's best chance to steal a game came early after drawing within a point at 15-14 in Game 1, but Northside immediately reeled off seven points in a row to reassert itself.
The Mustangs (22-6) stormed out to big leads in Games 2 and 3 to finish the Sentinels (11-17) in dominating fashion.
"At this point in our season, I feel like the only team that can beat us is us," Northside coach Holly Filer said.
Mullins, a 6-foot-2 sophomore, had seven kills and was a nuisance for Evangelical at the net after blocking three shots and altering many others.
Tiffany Boyer served four aces and added 20 digs for Northside.