GHS wins first district title in 12 years

Gainesville's Charlotte Gravlee with a hit against New Smyrna Beach on Thursday.
Gainesville's Charlotte Gravlee with a hit against New Smyrna Beach on Thursday.
Photo by C.J. Gish

The last time the Gainesville volleyball team won a district title, Chancie Grant was a junior middle blocker for the Lady Hurricanes.

She’s been out of school for over a decade, gotten married (now Chancie Vice), and she’s in her fourth year as head coach of the Hurricanes.

On Thursday night, senior Brooklyn Tealer had a team-leading 14 kills as GHS swept visiting New Smyrna Beach 25-13, 25-12, 25-17 at The Purple Palace to give Vice and the Hurricanes their first district title since 2011.

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Gainesville's Charlotte Gravlee (10) and Brooklyn Tealer (13) go for a block against New Smyrna Beach on Thursday.
Photo by C.J. Gish Gainesville’s Charlotte Gravlee (10) and Brooklyn Tealer (13) go for a block against New Smyrna Beach on Thursday.

“I am so proud,” Vice said. “You have a lot of special moments in life as a coach and as a mom, and this one’s definitely going up there with some milestones with my kids. The players are like my kids so seeing them accomplish something that they’ve worked so hard for, and fell short for other years, I’m just so proud of them.”

In Vice’s first year, the Hurricanes (19-7) defeated the Barracudas in a five-set thriller in the first round of the 2020 Class 6A FHSAA playoffs, but last year New Smyrna Beach got some revenge with a 3-1 win against GHS in the district championship game.

“It’s been us and New Smyrna since 2020,” Vice said. “We beat them the one year in regionals and then got COVID-19, and then we lost to them in districts last year in a really close, tough set. This is a personal win for sure.”

Tealer was injured and didn’t play in last year’s championship game loss at New Smyrna Beach.

“I’m so happy I got to play this time,” she said. “First experience for me and I’m really happy we got the win this time, especially in three sets. I think that was really impressive, so I’m super proud of our team.”

The USC commit set the tone early.

Senior Meme Davis’ first serve of the match landed just outside the back-left corner for a service error and a quick 1-0 lead for the No. 2 seed Barracudas (11-16).

However, Tealer had back-to-back kills to give the Hurricanes a 2-1 lead and they never trailed again in the opening set.

Gainesville's Meme Davis with a dig against New Smyrna Beach on Thursday. (1)
Photo by C.J. Gish Gainesville’s Meme Davis with a dig against New Smyrna Beach on Thursday.

“I went out with more energy than normal,” she said. “I was doing my best to make sure I was bringing that energy to my team so that we could all thrive off of it. I think I did a good job. We seemed super energetic this game and super focused, so I’m glad I got to set the tone that way.”

Tealer added a block for a 3-1 lead and later added an ace, affecting the game in a variety of ways.

She had eight of her 14 kills in the opening set.

“She’s a beast,” Vice said. “I’m really, really glad to have her. Athletically she just produces so much for us offensively, defensively, and the kid almost touches 11 foot. She’s just unstoppable up there and she’s developed a lot of leadership and a lot of grit this year as a senior so I’m incredibly proud of that, but then also what she contributes as a teammate. She motivates everyone around her to be better.”

One of her kills was set up by a one-handed dig on the floor by senior Meme Davis.

The Mercer commit finished with 14 digs, which tied for the team lead with sophomore Addy Hauptman.

“I’m telling you, she’s one of the most athletic kids in the area,” Vice said. “She is phenomenal. Her defense is just relentless. She’s undeniable in the back row, 110%.”

Davis also added seven kills.

“I’m been waiting to win this (title) since my freshman year, so I’m so happy we won,” Davis said. “We played really well tonight and executed on every play.”

Gainesville's Rowan Kage with hit a against New Smyrna Beach on Thursday.
Photo by C.J. Gish Gainesville’s Rowan Kage with hit a against New Smyrna Beach on Thursday.

In the second set, the Hurricanes went on a 7-0 run to take a quick 9-2 lead and the Barracudas never caught up.

Sophomore lefty Rowan Kage had a pair of aces and a kill during the run.

“The good thing about Rowan is her drive,” Vice said. “She has a very similar drive as Meme but she never stops swinging. She always tries to find a way to be an offensive terminator.”

Columbia commit Charlotte Gravlee also added seven kills, while senior Chloe Petrik led the ‘Canes with 30 assists.

It was the 18th straight win at home for GHS, which will host a Class 6A-Region 1 Quarterfinal on Wednesday night against an opponent to be determined.

“Home court advantage is huge,” Vice said. “Hopefully we’ll have a really big turnout next week, but there’s nothing like playing in the Purple Palace. The girls know the court very well, and it’s home. Like Deion Sanders has been saying, ‘its personal.’ Protect our house, and that was something the girls talked about in practice a while ago and since we brought it up, we haven’t lost a game at home.”

The Hurricanes will find out their opponent during the FHSAA Girls Volleyball Bracket Release Show will air LIVE on YouTube this Saturday at 10 a.m.

District championship results
Thursday, Oct. 19

Gainesville's Addy Hauptman with a dig against New Smyrna Beach on Thursday.
Photo by C.J. Gish Gainesville’s Addy Hauptman with a dig against New Smyrna Beach on Thursday.

Class 1A-District 6
No. 1 Branford d. No. 2 Union County (Lake Butler) 25-15, 25-19, 25-18 – Buccaneers (22-4) district champions

Class 1A-District 7
No. 1 Newberry d. No. 2 Chiefland 21-25, 25-23, 25-20, 25-15 – Panthers (13-14) district champions

Class 1A-District 8
No. 1 Williston d. No. 2 Glades Day (Belle Glade) 25-10, 25-13, 25-10 – Red Devils (17-10) district champions

Class 2A-District 4
No. 1 Oak Hall d. No. 2 Countryside Christian 25-15, 25-18, 25-18 – Eagles (22-4) district champions

Class 3A-District 3
No. 1 P.K. Yonge d. No. 2 Interlachen 25-10, 25-18, 25-12 – Blue Wave (12-9) district champions

Class 6A-District 4
No. 1 Gainesville d. No. 2 New Smyrna Beach 25-13, 25-12, 25-17 – Hurricanes (19-7) district champions

Wednesday, Oct. 18

Class 4A-District 5 

No. 1 Santa Fe (Alachua) d. No. 2 Eastside 25-4, 25-10, 25-10 – Raiders (19-8) district champions

Gainesville's Nicole Ellis (15) and Meme Davis (1) against New Smyrna Beach on Thursday.
Photo by C.J. Gish Gainesville’s Nicole Ellis (15) and Meme Davis (1) against New Smyrna Beach on Thursday.

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