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St. Petersburg impresses in season opener vs. defending state champ Shorecrest

The Green Devils sweep the Chargers, who must replace key players
St. Petersburg's Madelyn Davis (12) jumps to block the ball during a match against Shorecrest on Thursday. [ALLIE GOULDING | Times]
Published Aug. 23

ST. PETERSBURG ― Two volleyball teams with young players and high hopes squared off Thursday night. St. Petersburg, which won 23 matches last season and has no senior starters, swept past Shorecrest 29-27, 25-21, 25-17 in the season opener for both schools.

Shorecrest, which lost four key starters from last year’s state championship team, plays only two seniors but was competitive throughout. That was evident in Game 1, when the Chargers dug a hole late in the set but came back and almost pulled it off.

Trailing 22-18, Shorecrest rattled off six straight points to take a 24-22 lead. Middle hitter Chaise Campbell, one of the seniors, and junior Kendall Farley each had big kills in the run. But the Green Devils were able to stave off the set point thanks to a kill by Kate Youmans. Youmans then had two more kills to allow St. Petersburg to take a 25-24 lead.

MORE VOLLEYBALL: Bishop McLaughlin begins promising season with sweep of Tampa Catholic

St. Petersburg's Kate Youmans (10) prepares to send the ball back over the net. [ALLIE GOULDING | Tampa Bay Times]

Shorecrest had two more set points but was unable to finish it off. The set ended when Youmans served an ace.

“The first set was important,” Youmans said. “It sets the tone for the rest of the game.”

It did indeed. Shorecrest could never quite shake the Green Devils in the next two sets. The Chargers built early leads, but the front line of Youmans, Jenna Davis, Madelyn Davis and Jessica Halvorsen proved too much. In the second set, the Green Devils trailed by two midway through, but scored nine of the next 11 points for a 19-14 lead.

Despite cutting the lead to three points, Shorecrest could not get any closer before dropping the second set.

Shorecrest's Kirsten Price (11) prepares to serve during the match. [ALLIE GOULDING | Tampa Bay Times]

The third set was tied at 11 before St. Petersburg closed it out. The Green Devils scored seven straight points, highlighted by two straight kills by Davis and an ace by Livvi Harting.

“We’re a young team,” St. Petersburg coach Joseph Abad said. “They were a little nervous in the first set, but once they regrouped they were fine. They really came together. We rely a lot on Kate (Youmans) and she played well."

Youmans had 11 kills to lead the Green Devils. Campbell had seven for Shorecrest.

“I thought we played pretty well,” Youmans said. “We played the way we’ve been practicing, which is nice.”

Both teams played only one match this week. Shorecrest plays Northside Christian next Thursday. St. Petersburg faces Seminole on Tuesday and Dixie Hollins on Thursday.


  1. Quarterback Quaid Gardner (10) keeps an eye on the action during practice at Northside Christian. MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE  |  Times
    Quaid Gardner is happy playing his senior year on Mike Alstott’s squad.
  2. River Ridge sophomore quarterback Trenton Hawks gives a big hug to senior Anthony Roussos moments after Roussos scored a go-ahead touchdown against Mitchell earlier this season. SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times
    A postseason football berth is again on the line when these teams meet on Friday.
  3. Volleyball teams around Tampa Bay are in action for districts this week. SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times
    Berkeley Prep, meanwhile, needs five sets to dispatch Carrollwood Day.
  4. Clearwater Central Catholic celebrates a point during a five-set district match with Northside Christian. MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE  |  Times
    The Marauders need five sets to prevail while Calvary Christian sweeps Indian Rocks Christian.
  5. Volleyball teams around Tampa Bay are in action for districts this week. SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times
    The Bulls use 16 aces to dispatch second-seeded Brandon in three sets.
  6. Hezekiah B. Walters, 14, collapsed while participating in football conditioning drills at Middleton High School in June. MEN OF VISION  |  Special to the Times
    Incoming freshman Hezekiah B. Walters collapsed during conditioning drills in June.
  7. Armwood's Eric Wilson runs the ball for a touchdown on the Hawks' first possession of the first quarter at Tampa Bay Tech. LUIS SANTANA  |  Times
    Armwood, ranked fourth overall in the state, is at another level among area teams.
  8. The regular season was full of standout performances by volleyball teams across Tampa Bay, like Keswick Christian. SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times
    With district play this week, these are the final stats for the regular season.
  9. Members of the Gulf High football team march during school's Homecoming parade held Oct. 8 in New Port Richey. Special to the Times
    The Buccaneers, with no junior varsity to fall back on, had three games remaining on their regular-season schedule.
  10. Former Plant High star Aaron Murray will fulfill a dream when he steps onto the Raymond James Stadium field as a Tampa Bay Viper. Tampa Bay Vipers
    Murray won a state title in 2008, started for four seasons at Georgia and played briefly in the NFL.