Tampa Prep warmed up for its Class 3A, District 6 quarterfinal match against Frostproof with a practice that lasted more than an hour Wednesday. The Terrapins hardly broke a sweat in the actual match.
You want efficiency? The Terrapins, ranked No. 1 in the Class 3A state poll and No. 13 in the USA Today national ranking, didn't mess around Wednesday as they ran over the Bulldogs 15-1, 15-2 in a match that consumed all of 19 minutes, including four one-minute timeouts and a three-minute break between games.
"We haven't played anybody like that," said Frostproof (6-13) middle hitter Sharon Bellamy, who had both of her team's kills in Wednesday's match. "We were nervous, but they are awesome. They could play on the college level and beat some teams."
Tampa Prep's (30-3) victory sets up a match that probably will decide the state title _ even though it's a district semifinal match _ today against Berkeley Prep (27-5), the state's No. 2 team, at 6:30 p.m. Berkeley is No. 11 in the USA Today ranking. Berkeley and Tampa Prep split two three-game matches in the regular season.
Top district seed Cardinal Mooney (25-6 and ranked No. 5 in 3A) also cruised into the semifinals Wednesday with a 15-6, 15-2 win over Tampa Catholic (4-13). The Cougars will face host Academy of the Holy Names (18-12 and ranked No. 6 in 3A) at 8 tonight. Cardinal Mooney and the Academy also split two matches this season.
Katie Peifer scored four service winners against Frostproof in the second game Wednesday. Her twin sister, Sarah, had four kills, all in the first game before she took a rest. Cardinal Mooney also got excellent serving from setter Maria Santa Maria, who also tied for the team lead with three kills.
TAMPA _ Gaither and Hillsborough advanced to the semifinals of the tournament with easy wins in their openers at Gaither.
Gaither, the No.
3 seed in the six-team field, relied on a strong service game to dispatch King 15-1, 15-6. The Cowboys face second-seed and state-ranked Chamberlain at 6 tonight. The teams split a pair of games earlier this season.
The 9-5 Cowboys took control immediately in the opening game, jumping to a 4-0 lead on consecutive service aces by Sharon Sasanko. Sasanko led Gaither in aces, and added a pair of kills. The Cowboys ran to a 12-0 lead before King scored its only point of the game off an ace.
King briefly held a 1-0 lead in the second game, but Gaither responded with nine consecutive points. Becky Rice keyed the run with three kills, and finished with a game-high seven kills. King rallied for five more points, but Mayri Torres' kill off an assist from Rice ended the game, 15-6.
Hillsborough advanced with a 15-4, 15-9 win over Leto. Led by sisters Anne and Rosemary Caballero and Rachel Collier, the Terriers moved out of the first round, and will play top-seeded Brandon at 5 p.m.
Collier registered 10 points in the first game as Hillsborough (8-6) went on a seven-point run to hold off the Falcons.
Anne Caballero had nine kills in the match, including five in game No. 2. Her sister, Rosemary, finished with a team-high eight assists.
_ JOSE MARTINEZ