Bradenton Manatee and Bloomingdale scored semifinal wins in Class 6A, District 6 Wednesday and will meet tonight for the championship. Both move on to additional post-season play.
The Bulls (17-8) defeated Sarasota Riverview (14-10) 15-3, 16-14 and the Hurricanes (25-4) closed out Brandon's (8-7) season with a fast 15-13, 15-0 victory.
Susan Bindshedler served 17 of the 31 points scored by Bloomingdale, including seven aces.
In the first set, with the Bulls trailing 3-1, Bindshedler served 14 consecutive jump serves for the win. Included were five aces and she also moved forward to blast two kills. She had nine total kills.
In the second set, Bloomingdale trailed 12-4 before settling down and coming back for the win.
"It went through my mind this could be my last game for high school because I am a senior," Bindshedler said. "I told my teammates we had to settle down and forget the first game. That comeback was probably the best team effort we have united for all season."
Jennifer Busciglio, another Bulls senior, served out the final three points and added a kill on the second one.
"When they dropped behind 12-4 in the second game, they all seemed to be in la-la land," Bloomingdale coach Bonnie Hess said. "I told them they just had to score one point at a time. They showed a lot character to come from behind like that. They really demonstrated a lot of determination to win as athletes."
For Manatee, this will be the first time it has gotten out of districts in nine years, according to head coach Ted Rigo.
The Hurricanes set exceptionally well in the second game, working the ball forward to the net and not allowing Brandon opportunity to defend a spot.
"That is our typical way of playing," Rigo said. "When we are setting the ball close to the net we are hard to beat."
The winner tonight will host a sub-regional game next Tuesday and the loser will travel to a district winner.