GHS eliminates rival Buchholz

Gainesville's Mia Sims with a hit against Buchholz on Tuesday.
Gainesville's Mia Sims with a hit against Buchholz on Tuesday. (Photo by Megan V. Winslow)

The third time was not the charm for the Buchholz volleyball team, who had lost twice during the regular season to Gainesville High.

On Tuesday night in a Class 6A-District 4 semifinal at The Purple Palace, the No. 2 seed GHS Hurricanes swept the rival Bobcats 25-15, 25-18, 25-17, and made it look easy.

Buchholz's Riley Murray serves against Gainesville on Tuesday.
Photo by Megan V. Winslow Buchholz’s Riley Murray serves against Gainesville on Tuesday.

“They handled us,” said first-year Buchholz coach Joe Lamagno. “They were ready. Their hitters came to play. Defensively, they’re scrappy, and they’re not going to let stuff drop. They’re going to wait for you to make an error and then come out and kill the ball.”

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The No. 3 seed Bobcats, who played rival GHS (20-6) tight one week ago despite being swept, never had more than a 1-point lead.

Down 8-7 in the first set, GHS junior Charlotte Gravlee started a 5-0 run with a kill. She added another one for a 12-8 lead.

Buchholz junior Jordan Czaplewski had a kill to bring the Bobcats within three, 12-9, but that’s the closest the ‘Cats would come in the opening set.

A kill by GHS junior Brinkley Kinsell sparked another 5-0 run and a 17-9 lead. Kinsell led the team with 10 kills.

“She played great,” Gainesville coach Chancie Vice said. “I don’t know what it is about Buchholz, but she plays really good. She’s a great hitter who works well in finding the seam so unfortunately, their middles were late often, so she was just able to eat that seam over and over again and that’s hard to defend.”

Vice knew it could potentially be the last time her seniors played on their home court, and she said her team used the underdog mentality and pushed through.

“We had a really good serving game, and we kept them out of system,” Vice said. “We hit our zones and we served aggressively.”

GHS senior Jasmine Ver Bust, who has been on the varsity for four years, finished with a .400 hitting percentage (8 kills) on mostly tips.

“Our game plan, we knew that they had weak spots when it came to tipping,” Vice said. “They weren’t a very strong defensive team in picking up tips and that was our game plan.”

Gravlee had two of her team-high three aces in the opening set.

“I think I had a decent game,” Gravlee said. “Chloe (Petrik), our setter, did really well setting me up. And for my serves I really just tried to dial in and get all of them in play and that’s my main focus.”

In the second set, GHS had four 3-0 runs and finished off the set with a 5-0 run after Petrik’s ace in the middle of the back line.

Gainesville's Charlotte Gravlee sets up for a hit against Buchholz on Tuesday.
Photo by Megan V. Winslow Gainesville’s Charlotte Gravlee sets up for a hit against Buchholz on Tuesday.

“Volleyball is a game of runs and staying ready, staying competitive,” Vice said. “Being ready at the net was a big thing we also implemented. And I think the thing that helped us most tonight is we watched film. We had a game plan, we stuck to it, and we executed.”

Buchholz led the third set, 4-3, as Czaplewski had three kills early.

However, the Hurricanes used a 5-0 run, which was started by back-to-back kills by Kinsell for an 8-4 lead, and they never trailed again.

GHS ended the match with a 6-0 run thanks to a kill by Kinsell, followed by an ace by junior Rylan Hauptman, a kill by Gravlee, and two kills by senior Mia Sims.

Junior Meme Davis added nine kills and a team-leading 24 digs for GHS, which won its 20th game for the first time in 18 seasons.

Buchholz's Brooke Hankerson goes for a block against Gainesville on Tuesday.
Photo by Megan V. Winslow Buchholz’s Brooke Hankerson goes for a block against Gainesville on Tuesday.

“We didn’t match their energy in any phase of the game,” Lamagno said. “The third set was better, but I would have liked to see that energy from the first set to the second set, which we didn’t get. They outplayed us. They deserve it.”

Buchholz’s season ended at 12-12.

“The future for Buchholz looks pretty good,” Lamagno said. “My JV team has a lot of good athletes on it. I’ve got nine seniors returning. I’ve got some younger kids that are going to come in. I’m excited.”

Meanwhile, Gainesville will try to win its first district title since Vice had the last name Grant and played middle for the 2011 state final four team which lost to Leon (Tallahassee).

The opponent will be New Smyrna Beach (19-2), which swept Forest (Ocala) in the other district semifinal and is ranked No. 3 overall in Florida by MaxPreps.

NSB, which did not play GHS during the regular season, is right behind defending 4A state champion Santa Fe in the rankings.

“They’re big,” Vice said. “But the thing about playing teams that are big, sometimes they’re not as scrappy. I’ve told my team over and over again that our defense and our serve receive will take us far in the playoffs so we’re going to go down there and we’re going to fight. We did it two years ago when we weren’t supposed to win, and we did.”

The No. 1 seed Barracudas will host Thursday’s district championship with the first serve at 7 p.m.

CLASS 2A-DISTRICT 4 – No. 4 seed St. Francis Catholic Academy had only won two games all season entering Tuesday night’s 2A-District 4 semifinals against No. 5 seed Florida School for the Deaf and Blind (St. Augustine).

However, the Wolves (3-18) won the opening set 25-15 and cruised to a sweep, winning the final two sets, 25-12 and 25-17, to advance to Wednesday’s district semifinals against top seed Oak Hall School.

No. 2 seed Countryside Christian will play number three seed St. Joseph Academy (St. Augustine), which swept Peniel Baptist Academy (Palatka), in the other semifinal.

Class 1A-District 6 – at Bell High School

Monday, Oct. 17 (Quarterfinals)

No. 5 Lafayette (Mayo) 3, No. 4 Fort White 1

Tuesday, Oct. 18 (Semifinals)

No. 1 Branford 3, No. 5 Lafayette (Mayo) 0

No. 2 Union County (Lake Butler) 3, No. 3 Bell 0

Thursday, Oct. 20 (Championship)

No. 1 Branford vs. No. 2 Union County (Lake Butler), 7 p.m.

Class 1A-District 7 – at Trenton High School

Monday, Oct. 17 (Quarterfinals)

No. 5 Trenton 3, No. 4 Cedar Key 0

Tuesday, Oct. 18 (Semifinals)

No. 2 Dixie County (Cross City) 3, No. 3 Chiefland 0

No. 1 Newberry 3, No. 5 Trenton 1

Thursday, Oct. 20 (Championship)

No. 1 Newberry vs. No. 2 Dixie County (Cross City), 7 p.m.

Class 1A-District 8 – at Williston High School

Monday, Oct. 17 (Quarterfinals)

No. 5 Bronson, 3, No. 4 Hawthorne 0

Tuesday, Oct. 18 (Semifinals)

No. 2 Glades Day (Belle Glade) 3, No. 3 Wildwood 0

No. 1 Williston 3, No. 5 Bronson 0

Thursday, Oct. 20 (Championship)

No. 1 Williston vs. No. 2 Glades Day (Belle Glade), 7 p.m.

Class 2A-District 4 – at Oak Hall School (Semifinals & championship)

Tuesday, Oct. 18 (Quarterfinals) – at Higher seed

No. 4 St. Francis Catholic Academy 3, No. 5 Florida School for the Deaf & Blind (St. Augustine) 0

No. 3 St. Joseph Academy (St. Augustine) 3, No. 6 Peniel Baptist Academy (Palatka) 0

Wednesday, Oct. 19 (Semifinals)

No. 1 Oak Hall School vs. No. 4 St. Francis Catholic Academy, 5 p.m.

No. 2 Countryside Christian vs. No. 3 St. Joseph Academy (St. Augustine), 7 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 20 (Championship)

Oak Hall/St. Francis winner vs. Countryside Christian/St. Joseph winner, 6 p.m.

Class 3A-District 3 – at Palatka High School (Semifinals & Championship)

Monday, Oct. 17 (Quarterfinals) – at Higher Seed

No. 5 Bradford (Starke) 3, No. 4 Taylor County (Perry) 0

No. 3 Crescent City 3, No. 6 Interlachen 0

Tuesday, Oct. 18 (Semifinals)

No. 5 Bradford (Starke) 3, No. 1 Palatka 0

No. 2 P.K. Yonge 3, No. 3 Crescent City 0

Thursday, Oct. 20 (Championship)

No. 2 P.K. Yonge vs. No. 5 Bradford (Starke), 7 p.m.

Class 4A-District 2 – at Higher Seed

Monday, Oct. 17 (Quarterfinals)

No. 4 Godby (Tallahassee) 3, No. 5 Gadsden County (Havana) 0

Tuesday, Oct. 18 (Semifinals)

No. 2 Wakulla (Crawfordville) 3, No. 3 Suwannee (Live Oak) 0

Class 4A-District 4 – at Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville)

Monday, Oct. 17 (Quarterfinals)

No. 4 Keystone Heights 3, No. 5 Tocoi Creek (St. Augustine) 1

Tuesday, Oct. 18 (Semifinals)

No. 1 Bolles 3, No. 4 Keystone Heights 0

Class 4A-District 5 – at Santa Fe High School (Alachua)

Monday, Oct. 17 (Quarterfinals)

No. 4 Dunnellon 3, No. 5 Eastside 1

Tuesday, Oct. 18 (Semifinals)

No. 2 North Marion (Citra) 3, No. 3 Crystal River 0

No. 1 Santa Fe (Alachua) 3, No. 4 Dunnellon 0

Thursday, Oct. 20 (Championship)

No. 2 North Marion (Citra) at No. 1 Santa Fe (Alachua), 7 p.m.

Class 5A-District 2 – at Lincoln (Tallahassee) (Semifinals & Championship)

Tuesday, Oct. 18 (Semifinals)

No. 2 Vanguard (Ocala) 3, No. 3 Columbia (Lake City) 0

Class 6A-District 4 – at Higher Seed

Monday, Oct. 17 (Quarterfinals)

No. 4 Forest (Ocala) 3, No. 5 Matanzas (Palm Coast) 0

Tuesday, Oct. 18 (Semifinals)

No. 2 Gainesville 3, No. 3 Buchholz 0

No. 1 New Smyrna Beach 3, No. 4 Forest (Ocala) 0

Thursday, Oct. 20 (Championship)

No. 2 Gainesville at No. 1 New Smyrna Beach, 7 p.m.

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