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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]
St. Petersburg's Madelyn Davis (12) jumps to block the ball during a match against Shorecrest on Thursday. [ALLIE GOULDING | Times]
Published Aug. 23, 2019

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. The Knicks' Kevin Knox looks to pass as two Suns players defend him during the first half in a game on Jan. 16, 2020.
  2. Seffner Christian coach Sam Moorer, seen here in a game last season, had plenty of reasons to cheer Thursday night after his Crusaders channeled all of the challenges this season into a first-round playoff victory.
  3. Land O' Lakes coach Dave Puhalski, seen here in a game earlier this season, will be retiring once the Gators are done in the playoffs.
  4. Wharton senior Gio Reyes, seen here in a game earlier this season, scored 13 points in Thursday night's region quarterfinal.
  5. St. Petersburg coach Chris Blackwell, left, celebrates a 65-63 win over Seminole in Thursday's region quarterfinals.
  6. Calvary Christian had a better night on the boards Thursday, with senior Josh Berenbaum accounting for 17 rebounds.
  7. Jalen Cooper, seen here in a game earlier this season, leads Anclote with 27 points on Thursday night.
  8. Ryan Weir, seen here in a game earlier this season, ties his career high with a 25 points Thursday night against Boca Ciega.
  9. Plant sophomore Kallyn McKinney, No. 10, is helping lead the Panthers into a Class 7A state semifinal Friday night.
  10. Jesuit rolls to the Class 5A region final crown after a 5-0 victory over Lake Gibson.
  11. Tampa Catholic celebrates after Esteban Vargas, third from left, scores the second goal during a 3-0 victory over Windemere Prep in a Class 3A region final Wednesday.
  12. Shorecrest Prep goalkeeper Lucas Murphy (0) makes a stop on the Community School of Naples offense during the second half of Wednesday's region boys soccer final.