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HomeTeam 15: Volleyball rankings for Tampa Bay

Not much shakeup at the top after three teams earn tournament wins last week.
Audrey Koenig and Bishop McLaughlin keep rolling through the season. [ALICE HERDEN  |  Special to the Times]
Audrey Koenig and Bishop McLaughlin keep rolling through the season. [ALICE HERDEN | Special to the Times]
Published Sep. 10

1. Bishop McLaughlin (9-0)

This week: Tuesday at Alachua Santa Fe

Why they stayed put: The Hurricanes won their own tournament over the weekend, downing Wharton 2-0 in the championship match. Audrey Koenig was the tournament MVP. Maddie Snider was also on the all-tournament team. They have not lost a set yet this season, although Santa Fe could change that. The Raiders played in the Class 6A state final last season and are 5-1 this season.

2. Clearwater Central Catholic (4-0)

This week: Tuesday vs. Tampa Bay HEAT, Thursday-Saturday at Louisville Invitational

Why they moved up: Last week saw the Marauders take down Shorecrest and Northside Christian, two solid teams. The focus this week will be on the out-of-state tournament. It is one of three big tournaments they play during the season and will certainly be a good gauge as to where they stand. Senior Linsey Harrison and junior Kasey Singer have been the big hitters so far. Senior Brianna Scully has 79 digs.

3. Calvary Christian (8-0)

This week: Tuesday vs. Shorecrest, Thursday vs. Carollwood Day, Friday at Berkeley Prep

Why they moved up: The Warriors won all five matches in their tournament over the weekend to earn the trophy. They dropped only one set in the run (to Berkeley Prep) and defeated Tampa Catholic in the final. This is a good stretch of three matches this week. Cathryn Long has been impressive with 113 kills and 78 digs. Twin sister Jennafer has 247 assists already.

4. Wharton (9-1)

Sophomore Isabella Bonatakis, left, and senior Alexis Morse are two key players for Wharton. [SCOTT PURKS | Special to the Times]

This week: Tuesday at Alonso, Thursday at Robinson

Why they moved down: The week started with a straight-set win over Bloomingdale on Monday. The lone loss came to Bishop McLaughlin over the weekend at the Hurricanes tournament, and it was in the championship match. The Wildcats should keep rolling this week. They are very balanced, especially up front. Jeanette Henderson (83 kills), Jamie Koopman (74 kills), Deborah Rodriguez (67 kills) and Isabella Bonatakis (54 kills) can all swing it.

5. St. Petersburg (8-0)

This week: Tuesday at Tarpon Springs, Thursday vs. Osceola

Why they stayed put: Another tournament winner. The Green Devils won five straight matches at the Keswick Invitational and beat Shorecrest 2-1 in the final. It’s their second straight Keswick Invite win. The big challenge this week will be Osceola. Junior Kate Youmans is up to 58 kills and junior Madelyn Davis is close with 50. Nicole Robison has 19 aces.

6. Steinbrenner (13-3)

This week: Tuesday at Leto, Thursday vs. Riverview

Why they stayed put: A three-match week started with a win over Alonso. Now comes two straight district matches. The Warriors did go 4-1 at the Warrior Invitational, with the lone loss coming to eventual champs Calvary Christian. Nina Moorer is among the area leaders with 112 kills.

7. East Lake (5-1)

This week: Tuesday vs. Mitchell, Wednesday at Countryside

Why they moved up: The Eagles lost a rivalry match against PHU last week due to the hurricane. That will be made up on Oct. 9. So they get back into the swing of things this week with two winnable matches. They have won four straight and appear to be getting better and better.

8. Berkeley Prep (6-2)

This week: Tuesday at Carrollwood Day, Friday vs. Calvary Christian

Why they moved up: The Bucs went 3-2 at the Warrior Invitational, but the two losses were to Steinbrenner and Calvary Christian. There are only three seniors on the roster, but the Bucs are clearly young and talented. Camryn Carlo is off to a good start with 55 kills. Breanna McDonough has 29 blocks and Olivia Rabinowitz has 90 assists.

9. Osceola (3-0)

This week: Wednesday at Seminole, Thursday at St. Petersburg

Why they stayed put: The Warriors didn’t play last week so they are a bit behind other teams. The competition ramps up on Thursday. The Green Devils are coming off a win at the Keswick Invitational. Kalli Cors, Sandy Cao, Olivia Dal Sasso, Taylor Loope and Nicole Fowler have all played well so far for the Warriors.

10. Sunlake (3-1)

This week: Tuesday vs. Land O’ Lakes, Thursday vs. Mitchell, Friday-Saturday at Academy of the Holy Names tournament

Why they moved up: One match last week and it was a win over Freedom. A loaded week coming up after a light start to the season. The Seahawks will start the AHN tournament against Nature Coast. Land O’ Lakes and Mitchell are both district opponents, and after a loss to East Lake earlier this season they cannot afford to fall further in the standings.

11. Nature Coast (5-2)

This week: Tuesday vs. Springstead, Thursday at Crystal River, Friday-Saturday at AHN tournament

Why they moved down: The Sharks have a chance to roll into the AHN tournament with some momentum in what is a very busy week. They bounced back from a loss to Weeki Wachee with a win over Central. Madison Clark continues to be the big offensive threat with 78 kills. Ashley Drewal leads the defense with 74 digs.

12. Plant (5-4)

This week: Tuesday at Sickles, Thursday vs. Alonso

Why they moved up: The Panthers picked up a district win on Monday, 3-0 over Palm Harbor University. Two more district matches await this week. Plant has played a very tough schedule so far and should start picking up wins as they get into the meat of the season.

13. Mitchell (6-3)

This week: Tuesday at East Lake, Thursday at Sunlake

Why they moved down: Things started well with two wins at the Warrior Invitational, but it ended with three straight losses. Now comes another tough week. Both matches are against Class 6A, District 5 opponents.The Mustangs will get a good idea where they stand after this week.

14. Carrollwood Day (7-4)

This week: Tuesday vs. Berkeley Prep, Thursday at Calvary Christian, Friday - Saturday at AHN tournament

Why they moved down: The Patriots lost three matches at the Warrior Invitational, but they came against Calvary Christian, Berkeley Prep and Steinbrenner. The Bucs are back on the schedule this week. The first match ended 16-14 in the third set, so expect the rematch to be just as close. The schedule doesn’t let up the rest of the week, so they will have to be at the top of their games.

15. Wiregrass Ranch (4-1)

This week: Tuesday vs. Anclote, Thursday at Land O’Lakes, Friday-Saturday at AHN tournament

Why they moved in: The Bulls started the season with a 3-1 loss to district foe East Lake. Since then they have won four straight matches. Zoi Evans has 48 kills and 15 blocks. Alexis Taylor has 78 digs and Kayla Baer has 149 assists.

On the bubble

Keswick Christian (7-2), Land O’ Lakes (6-4), Academy of the Holy Names (3-2), Robinson (3-1), Northside Christian (3-3), Newsome (3-1), Sickles (3-0), Indian Rocks Christian (7-4)

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Plant City QB Makenzie Kennedy threw three touchdowns in the Hillsborough County Senior All-star Game at Raymond James Stadium on Saturday night. [CHUCK FRYE  |  Special to the Times]
    The East has now won five straight in the senior showcase.
  2. Pasco County's seniors took to the field one last time on Friday night. [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    River Ridge’s Anthony Roussos accounts for the final scores in a tight matchup.
  3. Bloomingdale's Gabriel Akpewero runs for a touchdown against Tampa Bay Tech on Oct. 4. [LUIS SANTANA  |  Times]
    The game will be held aat Raymond James Stadium
  4. River Ridge's Travis Hawks is one of six Royal Knights playing in the all-star game. [LUIS SANTANA  |  Times]
    The fifth annual game will be held at Sunlake High.
  5. Jesuit 106-pounder Kai Owen acknowledges Tiger fans moments after winning the Class 2A state title with a 2-1 decision last season. [SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times]
    After seasons of coming close at the state meet, Tiger grapplers are pushing for more this season.
  6. Keswick Christian's Yasmin Baroni tries to rip the ball from the hands of Northeast's Jada Ballard on Thursday. [LUIS SANTANA  |  Times]
    A second-quarter run is all the Crusaders need to stay out in front of their rival.
  7. Tampa Bay Tech sophomores Amiya Evans, second from right, and Janiah Barker, right, could help lead the Titans to one of the highest national rankings of any Tampa Bay area team in history in the 2019-20 season [SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times]
    Dynamic duo Janiah Barker and Amiya Evans met as eighth-graders and vowed to never play apart in high school. They kept that vow.
  8. Senior football players in Pinellas County took to the gridiron for their final prep game Wednesday night. [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Of the past 15 meetings, the South has been on the losing end 13 times.
  9. In this file photo, Lakewood High School defensive lineman Tre'von Riggins (98) takes a moment during a spring football practice last April. [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
    Measures to prevent heatstroke deaths were among the key items in a bill that unanimously passed its first committee on Wednesday.
  10. A little more than a month into the season, Nature Coast Tech sophomore Kennedy Weissman leads the state in scoring with 41 goals and 92 points, almost double the totals of the next closest player. [SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times]
    The sophomore has a whopping 41 goals so far this season, easily tops of any player in Florida.
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