Area volleyball teams preparing for postseason

On Tuesday night at The Purple Palace, the Gainesville volleyball team defeated visiting Oak Hall School 3-1 on Senior Night.

The Hurricanes won the opening set 25-18 but the visiting Eagles (16-8) won the second set, 25-17, to even things up at one game apiece.

GHS (14-8) dominated the third set 25-12 and finished off the victory with a 25-16 win in the fourth set.

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“It was good to have competition on our Senior Night and I think both of our seniors performed very well,” said Gainesville coach Chancie Vice.

Nicole Brandt finished second with 14 digs behind sophomore Meme Davis’ 27 digs.

“It was a lot of fun,” Brandt said. “I was a little worried there in the second set. I don’t think it would have been as fun to play an easy team so I’m glad they brought their ‘A’ game and gave us some competition.”

Defensive specialist Lara DeTurris was second with three aces, just behind sophomore Rylan Hauptman who led the ‘Canes with five.

“I really loved the way we rallied together after the loss in the second set,” DeTurris said. “It was a really fun game for me to play on Senior Night.”

It was the regular season finale for GHS, which will be the No. 5 seed in this Tuesday’s Class 6A-District 3 Tournament and will travel to Leon (Tallahassee) to face No. 4 seed Lincoln (Tallahassee) at 5 p.m. 

Buchholz volleyball at net

The district tournament host Buchholz Bobcats, the No. 6 seed, will face No. 3 seed Forest (Ocala) at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Oak Hall receives a bye as the top seed in 2A-District 4. The Eagles will play either No. 4 seed Countryside Christian or 5th-seeded St. Joseph Academy (St. Augustine) at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the semifinals at Countryside Christian.

St. Francis Catholic Academy, the No. 6 seed, will face St. Johns Country Day (Orange Park) at 6 p.m. Monday in the other district quarterfinal.

This past Monday night the Newberry volleyball team defeated Chiefland 3-1 on Senior Night.

Senior Abby Pace led with 20 service points, 11 kills and nine aces. Senior Mykenzie Tiller added 16 service points, eight kills and seven aces and senior Raven Thomas had 12 digs and six kills.

Last night the Panthers defeated Branford in five sets to improve to 15-9.

Senior Kirsten Thomas led the way with 36 digs and 12 service points, while Faith Wilson and Alexis Boyd combined for 18 blocks.

Newberry will host P.K. Yonge at 7 p.m. Thursday in the regular season finale. District tournament play begins next week.

“Our district and region are very tough,” Newberry coach Hank Rone said. “We are finally healthy heading into the playoffs. If we keep serving well and serve receive strong, we will have a fighting chance to do well.”

The Panthers are the No. 2 seed in Class 1A-District 7 and will face No. 3 seed Bradford (Starke) on Tuesday in the district semifinals. Top seed Union County (Lake Butler) plays No. 4 seed Hilliard in the other semifinal.

“Our setters and hitters are getting their timing down and hitting more consistently,” Rone said. “That is what you want to happen heading into the playoffs.”

On Monday night, Bell won at Trenton in a five-set thriller. Michelle Heilig led the Lady Bulldogs with 18 kills and she finished second with 21 digs.

Chiefland lost at Newberry in four sets in the regular season finale. Senior Emma Wilson led the Lady Indians with nine kills. Sophomore Claire Horne led Chiefland with 20 digs.

Last night Bell won at P.K. Yonge (Gainesville) in a 5-set nail biter.

The visiting Class 1A Bulldogs won the first two sets but the Class 3A Blue Wave rallied to win the next two sets. Bell won the decisive third set, 15-10, to improve to 12-11.

Heilig led the ‘Dogs with 18 kills. Senior Emma Hutto had 32 assists. It was the regular season finale for Bell, which will host the Class 1A-District 6 Tournament next week.

“We are finally starting to play up to our potential I believe,” Bell coach Drue Barry said. “This week we have learned to finish close games against good competition in front of very vocal fans. I wanted the team to play these type of games on the road at the end to get ready for districts and beyond.”

The Bulldogs will play at 5 p.m. Tuesday against the winner of Monday’s match between No. 4 Trenton vs. No. 5 Cedar Key  at 6 p.m.

“I feel good going into the district tournament which we will host at Bell,” Barry said. “We have gone undefeated in district play this season, 2-0 against Dixie, 3-0 against Chiefland and 1-0 against Trenton. I believe whoever advances from our area will be the team who is peaking at the right time.”

Dixie County, the No. 2 seed, will face No. 3 seed Chiefland in the other semifinal at 7 p.m.

The best team in the area is Santa Fe (Alachua), which will host the 4A-District 4 tournament.

The Raiders (22-3), who are ranked No. 1 in the state in Class 4A and 9th in the country by MaxPreps, will play at 7 p.m. Tuesday against the winner of No. 4 Eastside vs. No. 5 Palatka.

Santa Fe Raiders volleyball action No. 2

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