It's difficult to stay focused when you're 26-2 and playing a team you should beat any time, any place.
It's also difficult when you know Saturday's region semifinal against Bradenton Christian could be considered the real Class A state championship match.
All that aside, Bayshore Christian took care of business in Tuesday's region quarterfinal, dispatching Lakeland Evangel Christian 25-11, 25-12, 25-14.
"Yes we won," said Bayshore Christian coach Melanie Humenansky, "but we did not play our best. We seemed distracted. We were not as intense as I would have liked.
"We all made our share of mistakes."
But Bayshore freshman outside hitter Adria Mullaney said no need to worry, "because we'll be totally focused for Saturday. Totally."
Bayshore beat Bradenton Christian twice this season, but both matches were competitive, especially the one near season's end, which went five games.
"We know what to expect," Mullaney said. "And it will help that we're playing at home."
Bayshore plays Bradenton Christian at 4 p.m. after the other region semifinal at 2. The final is scheduled for 7.
"I think we're ready," Humenansky said. "We played some tough teams this season (including two victories over Class 3A Academy of the Holy Names and a close loss to state power Tampa Prep).
"This is a confident group. They have a great attitude."
They also don't appear to have a weakness with two strong setters and four or five athletic hitters. All the starters, and a few off the bench, also play tough defense.
On Tuesday the Faith Warriors were led by Stevi Cherry's 11 kills, Mullaney's six aces and Christine Williamson's four blocks.
None of Tuesday's games were close at any point, except for a brief moment in game two in which Evangel cut the gap to 10-8, only to watch Bayshore go on a 10-1 run.
"We had never seen (Bayshore) play before, but they were impressive," Evangel coach Carrie Shriner said. "They were very well-rounded. You could tell they were going to be tough just by watching them in warmups."
Cambridge moves on
After dropping the first game, Cambridge (9-13) pulled together to defeat Lakeland Sonrise Christian in four games.
The Lancers, who were perceived underdogs heading into the quarterfinal, served the Seminoles their second loss of the season (21-2).
Cambridge won 12-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-22.
The Lancers will face semifinal opponent Sarasota Christian at Bayshore Christian on Saturday.