Saturday, December 16, 2017
Sports

Region volleyball: Mitchell, Fivay swept in finals

NEW PORT RICHEY — Mitchell took the first lead in all three sets of Saturday's Class 6A region final, but no lead was safe against defending volleyball state champion Venice, which won 25-12, 25-10, 25-14.

"With a team like them, you don't have any margin for error," Mitchell coach Keith Paulk said.

He said the Mustangs had good scoring streaks, but they also had rough patches, and the Indians never let up.

Despite the loss, Paulk said he has nothing but pride for his team and its positive attitude. What people will remember, he added, is that the Mustangs had a 20-game win streak.

"They really put it together," he said.

A block by Mitchell's Kayla Widera started Game 1, and a kill and a block by Bailey Sassatelli kept Mitchell in the lead. Venice scored on a Mitchell error for its first lead at 5-4 and didn't give it back.

The Mustangs pulled away in the second set with three kills by Daniele Green and another by Shayna Filippelli. Errors by Venice gave Mitchell a four-point lead at 7-3, but a wide shot by Mitchell started an Indians rally.

Widera scored first in the third set as the Mustangs surged ahead 3-1. It was the last time they would take the lead. Errors and kills combined to sink Mitchell, but the girls kept fighting back, scoring eight kills in the final game.

Widera led the Mustangs with five kills, followed by Green and Filippelli with four each.

Sophomore Hannah Richards led the Indians with 10 kills.

Paulk said Venice's smooth victories in three sets show why they're the defending state champions.

"But we're getting there," he said.

5A: Quicks starts don't hold for Fivay

BELLVIEW — Fivay led in all three sets Saturday, it but couldn't dispatch Belleview in a Class 5A region final.

The Falcons (24-7), making their second straight region final appearance, fell 25-23, 25-21 and 25-20.

"We worked really hard, and we were district runnerup last year and district champs this year," Fivay coach Nikki Pollock said.

"I know the girls are upset, and I'm really proud of them. Moving forward, we'll keep building, and the more we get into the postseason, there will be less nerves. We'll go from there."

The Falcons got off to a great start, leading 12-4 in Game 1. Jordyn Mattos served the first three points for the Falcons, and outside hitter Briannah Nemetz had nine points.

Errors in the service and return game contributed points to both teams. With the score knotted at 23, Fivay hit the ball out of bounds to give the Rattlers (25-5) the serve. Taylor Wear got the game point.

The Falcons trailed 8-3 in the second game but went on a 10-2 run, taking advantage of Belleview return and service errors and good play by Nemetz, who contributed a kill and block for points during the run.

The Falcons' Amber Lake had a kill, while Mattos and Alli Hudson contributed nice dump points for a 13-10 lead. Fivay took another 18-15 lead but couldn't hold on thanks to service and return errors.

The Rattlers got quality returning as a team and timely kills from Alexis Day, Mikaylah Gillespie and Savannah Phillips to go up by two games.

In the final game, Gillespie had six kills and two blocks.

"Both teams played great, and we respected (Fivay) so much. We wanted our best game," Rattlers coach Gary Greer said.

Joseph Kornecki III, Times correspondent

Comments
Kitija Laksa’s 11 consecutive treys an NCAA record

Kitija Laksa’s 11 consecutive treys an NCAA record

Turns out, USF junior Kitija Laksa wasn't merely unconscious from behind the 3-point line Friday night, she was unprecedented.Laksa's 11 consecutive 3-pointers in the Bulls' 108-48 home romp of Southern University broke the NCAA's single-game record ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
College Football Bowls: Tampa Bay Times staff picks for Week 1

College Football Bowls: Tampa Bay Times staff picks for Week 1

College football bowl season gets underway Saturday with six games. Here's the Tampa Bay Times college football coverage team's picks for those and five other games the first week of bowl season. GameMartin Fennelly @mjfennellyTraci Johnson @TBH...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Jones: Tony Dungy didn’t leave the Bucs on the clearance rack

Jones: Tony Dungy didn’t leave the Bucs on the clearance rack

It is and always will be the greatest debate in Tampa Bay sports history.Jon Gruden or Tony Dungy?You don’t even need to say anything more than that. Bucs fans already know what you’re talking about.Gruden or Dungy?Who was most responsible for the on...
Updated: 21 minutes ago
Rays’ trade silence likely a short-lived phenomenon

Rays’ trade silence likely a short-lived phenomenon

LAKE BUENA VISTA — There were a lot of reasons the Rays didn’t start the process of trading some of their bigger-name, higher-paid players at last week’s winter meetings.Most obvious was them not finding the just-right deal to move closer Alex Colome...
Updated: 22 minutes ago
Q&A with Syracuse coach Benoit Groulx about the Lightning’s next generation

Q&A with Syracuse coach Benoit Groulx about the Lightning’s next generation

DENVER — There might be one team in hockey hotter than the Lightning.It is Tampa Bay’s AHL affiliate, Syracuse.The Crunch had won nine straight heading into Friday’s game against Providence. Why is this important? While the AHL is a developmental lea...
Updated: 23 minutes ago

Boys basketball: Lakewood 45, Gibbs 44

ST. PETERSBURG — Once the lights dimmed in the gymnasium and the capacity crowd dispersed, Lakewood coach Anthony Lawrence spotted Gibbs coach Larry Murphy strolling past the the bleachers."Hey, Murph. Do we have to do this every time?" Lawrenc...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Boys basketball: Nature Coast 78, Central 29

Boys basketball: Nature Coast 78, Central 29

BROOKSVILLE – Once again supporting its place as the top program in Hernando County, Nature Coast maintained its undefeated record in a dominant win over rival Central.While the Bears were able to upset the Sharks to win the Class 6A, District ...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Girls basketball: Plant 66, Steinbrenner 31

LUTZ — Here's some discouraging news for any team that has to play Plant this season or in the next few seasons: The Panthers beat Steinbrenner 66-31 Friday night. Of those 66 points, 48 were scored by a sophomore and two freshmen.Freshman powe...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Boys basketball: Plant City 79, Tampa Bay Tech 74

Boys basketball: Plant City 79, Tampa Bay Tech 74

TAMPA — Traveling to play at Tampa Bay Tech is a test for any area basketball team these days because the Titans are tough and the crowd is loud.Plant City prepared for all of the above, answered most of the questions and passed the exam Friday...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Nobody has Jameis Winston’s back more than Dirk Koetter, offensive coordinator Todd Monken insists

Nobody has Jameis Winston’s back more than Dirk Koetter, offensive coordinator Todd Monken insists

Nobody is a bigger supporter of Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston than head coach Dirk Koetter.That was the passionate message that offensive coordinator/receivers coach Todd Monken unloaded at his news conference Friday, saying that reports that Winst...
Updated: 7 hours ago