North Suncoast district volleyball preview

Alexa Coscia and the Sharks are hoping a schedule heavy with non-area teams has them ready for a successful postseason.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Alexa Coscia and the Sharks are hoping a schedule heavy with non-area teams has them ready for a successful postseason.

No doubt this has been a down season for volleyball on the North Suncoast. Blame coaching changes, younger rosters, the economy. For some reason, Pasco and Hernando county volleyball hasn't had the dominant punch seen in recent years. That brings us to the postseason. Ah, the glorious district tournaments where an upset could lead to a playoff berth even if your team has been swept more times than the gymnasium floor. Here is a look at the teams we believe have the best shot to move on.

North Suncoast No. 1s

(as in seeds)

Central

Record: 11-7, 4-2 in 5A-7

Notable: First-year coach Emily Gore has guided the Bears to a season sweep of Springstead in its four-team district. Central split matches against district foes Ocala Forest and Ocala West Port. Gore said the girls have struggled with consistency but seem to play well against higher-level teams.

Key players: Quynn Fonseca, Sr. (128 kills, 36 blocks, 47 digs); Carly Territo, Sr.(140 assists, 50 digs, 35 kills); Raqurra Ishmar, Jr. (99 kills, 15 blocks)

Nature Coast

Record: 17-8, 8-0 in 4A-8

Notable: The Sharks have faced 14 non-bay area teams in 25 matches in preparation for a postseason run. They went 7-7 and lost an additional one to Pinellas County power Palm Harbor University.

Key players: Alex Livengood, Sr. (328 kills, 62 aces, 147 digs); Courtney Liddle, So. (262 kills, 105 aces, 231 digs); Rachel Powell, Sr. (567 assists, 123 digs, 55 aces)

Hudson

Record: 17-3, 6-0 in 4A-7

Notable: The Cobras have lost just three games in nine matches since the start of October. First-year coach Shayna Munson has maintained the tradition of local dominance.

Key players: Jessica Imbimbo, Sr. (78 kills, 21 aces, 81 digs); Jessica Christianson, Sr. (165 digs, 27 aces); Katy McGee, Sr. (58 kills, 11 blocks)

Three worth a peek

Hernando Christian

Record: 21-11-1; 4-4 in A-9

Notable: The Lions can play with anyone when they show up. Their best wins include a five-set victory over Bayshore Christian and a victory over county rival Central.

Key players: Madeline Hanshaw, Jr. (67 kills, 37 digs, 28 blocks); Remington Manuel, So. (60 kills, 40 digs, 28 blocks); Brielle Knight, So. (37 kills, 22 blocks, 17 digs)

Ridgewood

Record: 16-6, 4-2 in 4A-7

Notable: The Rams get their rematch with Hudson tonight, and regardless of the outcome look to compete for a postseason berth.

Key players: Sarangelys Cruz, Sr. (275 kills, 167 digs, 73 blocks); Brittany Martin, Sr. (185 digs, 66 kills, 43 aces); Madison Pretto, Sr. (491 assists, 120 digs, 62 aces)

Springstead

Record: 12-8, 3-3 in 5A-7

Notable: The Eagles' bright start — 11-3 — is a distant memory now with Springstead 1-4 in its past five matches.

Key players: Megan Morrison, So. (69 kills, 56 digs, 25 blocks); Maria Garcia, Jr. (85 digs, 20 kills, 15 aces); Allyson Schillinger, So. (78 digs, 58 assists, 50 kills)

Don't count us out

Zephyrhills and Pasco have won key games and could claim postseason berths.

Tournament schedules

Class 5A, District 7

Location: Ocala West Port

Schedule: Tuesday — (3) Springstead vs. (2) Ocala Forest, 6; (4) Ocala West Port vs. (1) Central, 8; Thursday — final, 7

Class 4A, District 8

Location: Zephyrhills

Schedule: Monday — (9) Citrus vs. (8) Sunlake, 7; Tuesday — (5) Wiregrass Ranch vs. (4) Land O'Lakes, 1; (6) Hernando vs. (3) Lecanto, 3; 9-8 winner vs. (1) Nature Coast, 5; (7) River Ridge vs. (2) Zephyrhills, 7; 7-2 winner vs. 6-3 winner, 5:30; 5-4 winner vs. 9-8-1 winner, 7:30; Thursday — final, 7

Note: If host team wins Tuesday it will play at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Class 4A, District 7

Location: Hudson

Schedule: Tuesday — (5) Gulf vs. (4) Mitchell, 3; (6) Wesley Chapel vs. (3) Pasco, 5; (7) Anclote vs. (2) Ridgewood, 7; Wednesday — 7-2 winner vs. 6-3 winner, 5; 5-4 winner vs. (1) Hudson, 7; Thursday — final, 7

Class 2A, District 10

Location: Indian Rocks Christian

Schedule: Tuesday — (4) Bishop McLaughlin vs. (1) Tampa Prep, 6; (3) Calvary Christian vs. (2) IRC, 7:30; Thursday — final, 7

Class A, District 9

Location: Various sites

Schedule: Monday (at Cambridge) — (6) Berean Academy vs. (3) Keswick, 5; (7) Carrollwood vs. (2) Cambridge, 6:30; Monday (at Canterbury) — (5) Academy at the Lakes vs. (4) Lakeside, 5; (8) Tampa Bay Christian vs. (1) Canterbury, 6:30; Tuesday (at Keswick Christian) — semifinals, 5 and 7; Thursday — final, 7

Class A, District 8

Location: Seffner Christian

Schedule: Monday — (5) Citrus Park Christian vs. (4) Seffner Christian, 6; Tuesday — (3) Hernando Christian vs. (2) Bayshore Christian, 5; 5-4 winner vs. 3-2 winner vs. (1) Bradenton Christian, 7; Thursday — final, 7

Izzy Gould can be reached at igould@sptimes.com or (813) 421-3886.

North Suncoast district volleyball preview 10/21/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 21, 2009 11:34pm]

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