Gainesville sweeps Santa Fe

Gainesville's Madison Howard (5) goes after the ball against Santa Fe on Wednesday.
Gainesville's Madison Howard (5) goes after the ball against Santa Fe on Wednesday.
Photo by C.J. Gish

It had been a long time since the Gainesville Hurricanes volleyball team had beaten the Santa Fe Raiders.

Then again it’s been awhile since most teams have beaten the Raiders.

But on Wednesday night at the Purple Palace, Class 6A Gainesville picked up their first win over the two-time defending 4A state champion Raiders since 2017, winning in straight sets 25-23, 25-21 and 25-9.

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Gainesville's Meme Davis hit a hit against Santa Fe's Bryli Kuhn (3) and Alexis Rhoden (23) on Wednesday.
Photo by C.J. Gish Gainesville’s Meme Davis hit a hit against Santa Fe’s Bryli Kuhn (3) and Alexis Rhoden (23) on Wednesday.

The Hurricanes (6-4), who were coming off a loss in five sets on Tuesday at Ponte Vedra, ended a six-game losing streak against their Alachua County rivals with a win in their home opener.

Gainesville coach Chancie Vice was happy to have her team back home in the Purple Palace.

“This was the first home game of the season, and our players have developed a mindset that every home game is personal,” Vice said. “They are coming into our house, and you don’t let someone beat you at your house. We don’t want anyone beating us at our gym.”

The two teams went back-and-forth for most of the first set. Gainesville went on a 5-0 run but Santa Fe answered to tie the set at 13-13. The Hurricanes pulled away to a 22-18 lead, and then held on to win.

Santa Fe (8-6) came out determined in the second set and led 12-7. But the Hurricanes chipped away, finally taking the lead at 18-17 and outscored the Raiders 12-4 in the second half of the set to go up 2-0.

The third set was all Gainesville. The closest Santa Fe got was 2-1, and after that the Hurricanes kept pulling away to finish the sweep.

Senior outside hitter Brooklyn Tealer, a USC commit, led Gainesville with 17 kills. Sophomore Rowan Kage added eight kills with a .667 hitting percentage. Junior Chloe Petrik chipped in 30 assists and senior libero Madison Howard had 11 digs.

Santa Fe, who played without their leader in kills in Jordan Czaplewski, was led by senior Joseylynn Sanjurjo with 12 kills. Sophomore Gracyn Marshall added 11 assists, six digs, and five aces.

Not only had Gainesville not beaten Santa Fe in six meetings, they hadn’t won a set against the Raiders since their last win six years ago. 

“This is a good win for us, because this is a rivalry and most of these girls play together on travel teams,” Vice added. “It is a rebuilding year for them (Santa Fe), but the expectation from Eric (Marshall) will never waver. He is always going to want to win every game and get maximum effort from his players.”

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