TAMPA – Carrollwood Day continued its dominant run through the postseason with a convincing 25-17, 25-16, 25-9 Class 4A region final win over Shorecrest Thursday night. It was a rematch of the Class 4A, District 4 tournament final, which the Patriots won 3-1.
Carrollwood Day (23-2) will play at Jacksonville Providence on Saturday, Nov. 11 in the state semifinal. It will be the third time in four seasons it has reached the state tournament. Shorecrest ends its season 13-10.
"We were rested, we watched game film, we had good practices and we had a good game plan," Patriots' coach Eric Praetorius said. "We knew (Shorecrest outside hitter Jacqueline St. Cin) was their top player so we practiced to stop her all week. She's so good and we did a good job of blocking her."
St. Cin, a junior who is committed to Clemson, did get 14 kills to lead the Chargers. But Carrollwood Day's front line of Haley Brown, Krissy Loyd and Ava Swain made it hard for St. Cin to take over. Meanwhile, the Patriots were solid offensively all night.
In the first game, both teams traded points early. With Carrollwood Day holding a slim 9-8 lead, it went on 7-1 run that included two slam dunk kills by Gabriela Quarles and another from Ally-Reese Williams. The first game ended on a block by Swain.
The second game was also decided by a big run that made it 2-0. The Patriots scored six straight points to make the score 16-6. Williams had two kills in the stretch and Kendel Saigol had an ace. Shorecrest could only close the gap to six points at 21-15, but a 4-0 run ended the game.
The third game was all Carrollwood Day. It jumped out to a 9-1 run that included four aces by Williams. The game, and match, ended on an ace by Brown.
Williams had 10 kills. Quarles added eight.
"Everything was gelling tonight," Saigol said. "We started off by missing some serves but we calmed down and got it back. We're just so comfortable as a team right now. We've been practicing very hard and our focus and energy was excellent."
Shorecrest, which has no seniors, knew it had to play a near perfect match to beat its district rivals.
"They are a solid team and I wish them the best," Shorecrest coach Svetlana Simic said. "They have played together for a very long time. They know each other so well. They are a very tough team."