Last night at the Purple Palace, the Buchholz volleyball team defeated district rival Gainesville, 3-2, in a 5-set thriller. Junior Kate Johnson led the Bobcats with 12 kills and she was second on the team with 18 digs.
The win completed a 2-game regular season sweep of the Hurricanes, who dropped to 11-6. It’s possible the two teams could meet again in next week’s Class 6A-District 5 tournament. Buchholz, which improved to 6-13, will play unbeaten Forest (Ocala) in the Tuesday night’s district semifinals. The winner gets Gainesville in the district championship on Thursday.
Also on Thursday night, the Bell volleyball team suffered just its fifth loss of the season, falling in four sets at home to Oak Hall School of Gainesville. The Bulldogs (16-5) won the opening set, 25-18, but the Eagles (6-8) rallied to win the next three, including a narrow 25-23 win in the third set.
A blind draw was used to determine seedings for next week’s district volleyball tournaments. Despite losing to Bell three times this season, Union County got the number one seed in Class 1A-District 6. Bell, the number two seed, will face number three seed Branford in the district semifinals. Dixie County, the number four seed, will play number five seed Fort White, in Monday’s district quarterfinals. The winner will play Union County in the district semifinals. The district champion and district runner-up both advance to the FHSAA state playoffs.
Williston finished its regular season with a 3-1 loss at P.K. Yonge of Gainesville last night. The Red Devils lost the 1st set 25-21 but won the 2nd set 25-22. The Blue Wave went on to win the next two. Williston (9-4) will be the number three seed in next week’s Class 1A-District 7 tournament and face No. 2 seed Newberry (18-3), which was last year’s 1A state runner-up. Chiefland will be the top seed in the district and face the winner of No. 4 seed Bronson and No. 5 seed Trenton.
Mike Ridaught is the founder and publisher of ThePrepZone.com, the foremost website for high school sports in northeast Florida.