WEEKI WACHEE – In each of the past two years, Weeki Wachee has gone through Fivay on the way to a region finals berth. Wednesday night, the Hornets were looking to make it three straight times, but the Falcons had other ideas.
Fivay continued what is now an 18-match win streak by sweeping Weeki Wachee (25-19, 25-18, 25-20) in the Class 6A region semifinals.
"We've had goals about what we wanted to accomplish," Fivay coach Nicole Pollock said, "and they've worked really hard to get to where we are."
The result was redemption for the Falcons (24-3) and seniors Lindsay Christianson and Kirbea Harrell. The two outside hitters for Fivay were on the court for each of the past two postseason losses to the Hornets. Their play on Wednesday was crucial.
Christianson, who has been playing libero for the Falcons for the past few seasons, was moved earlier this season to the front row. At under 5 feet, the senior surprised many with her leaping ability and timing as a hitter. Count Weeki Wachee (15-13) among those she has stunned with six kills and a match-high three aces.
"I get to do new things and try new things," Christianson said about playing up front. "I love being able to make an impact all over the floor."
Harrell was nearly unstoppable when she spiked a ball inbounds. With solid setting from junior Torrie Berryhill, the senior pounded home a match-high 14 kills to lead the attack.
"Torrie really helps," Harrell said. "She has been setting for us for a couple years now, and we all help each other out. We have a lot of chemistry on this team."
Weeki Wachee junior Brooke Sereda has been the top hitter for the Hornets all season, and with 13 kills, she impressed again. Fellow junior Seytia Hill added eight kills. It was a flurry of miscues that cost the home team, however. Seven service and 12 hitting errors proved too much to overcome.
The young Hornets, who had only one senior on the roster, had their opportunities. In the first set, the score was tied 19-19 before a 6-0 run from Fivay. The third set was tied 20-20 before a 5-0 Falcons run clinched the match.
Fivay advances to host Ponte Vedra with a spot in the state semifinals on the line on Tuesday night.