Oak Hall advances to district championship

Oak Hall's Pene Mosier had 17 kills in a district semifinal win over St. Francis on Wednesday.
Oak Hall's Pene Mosier had 17 kills in a district semifinal win over St. Francis on Wednesday. (Photo by C.J. Gish)

A goal that Oak Hall set for itself back in July is one step closer to completion.

On Wednesday, the hosting Eagles swept St. Francis Catholic Academy, 25-13, 25-16, 25-13 in the Class 2A-District 4 semifinal round en route to Thursday’s championship match.

“We are tunnel vision focused on tomorrow night because we know the importance,” Oak Hall coach Perry McDonald said. “When we first started meeting back in July and early August, we looked at the district and looked at the region, one of our monolithic goals of the season was to try to get home-field advantage for much of the regional playoffs.”

McDonald said that the Eagles (21-4) have their goal in site and by winning the district title, it would unlock homecourt advantage through the next three rounds of the regional playoffs.

But it took Oak Hall partway through the first set to find its rhythm against a St. Francis team that gave the Eagles all they could handle early on.

St. Francis's Gaby Rosado hits the ball against Oak Hall on Wednesday.
St. Francis’s Gaby Rosado hits the ball against Oak Hall on Wednesday.

The Wolves (3-19) went up 4-0 and played even with Oak Hall – down only 11-9 – before the Eagles closed the first set with a 14-4 run for the win.  

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Oak Hall's Ave Scorpio had nine kills against St. Francis on Wednesday.
Photo by C.J. Gish Oak Hall’s Ave Scorpio had nine kills against St. Francis on Wednesday.

“Give St. Francis credit, they came out and dug well, they served well, and we looked a little bit lethargic to start, and then midway through set one we started to kind of wake up and play at a different level,” McDonald said.

In the second set, Oak Hall jumped to a quick 9-0 lead keyed by three Emma Raulerson service aces.

St. Francis battled back to get within five — 14-9 and 21-16 — but Oak Hall serving sealed the second set victory with Cassidy McDonald connecting on two aces for the final two points.

Pene Mosier also heated up in the second set, nailing seven of her match-high 17 kills.

“Pene Mosier, once she kind of warmed up, became really dominant,” McDonald said. “She just started teeing off on the ball and once that occurred it really set a tempo for the way the match was going to go from that point on.”

In the final set, Oak Hall broke a 3-3 tie behind five kills apiece from Ave Scorpio and Mosier.

“Ave Scorpio had a really nice night at the net,” McDonald said. “Once her and Cassidy kind of developed their rhythm and their placement on the sets, they were able to score very efficiently.”

Cassidy led the Eagles with 31 assists and added four kills. Scorpio had nine kills.

“We had 13 kids that played, we got to a lot of different varieties in our lineup to create some more opportunities for diversity in our attacking game,” McDonald said. “In general, we took care of business and I’m pleased with the outcome.”

McDonald also credited the back row play of Amelia Chen and Sarah Miller.

In the second semifinal match on Wednesday, No. 2 seed Countryside Christian (10-10) defeated No. 3 seed St. Joseph Academy (Jacksonville), 25-19, 25-7, 25-19.

The Eagles will face Countryside Christian in the championship match at 6 p.m. on Thursday at Oak Hall.

Class 1A-District 6 – at Bell High School 

Monday, Oct. 17 (Quarterfinals) 

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

Oak Hall's Cassidy McDonald hits the ball over the next against St. Francis on Wednesday.
Oak Hall’s Cassidy McDonald hits the ball over the next against St. Francis on Wednesday.

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) 

St. Francis's Brinda Deangelis serves against Oak Hall on Wednesday.
Photo by C.J. Gish St. Francis’s Brinda Deangelis serves against Oak Hall on Wednesday.

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 3, No. 4 St. Francis Catholic Academy 0 

No. 2 Countryside Christian 3, No. 3 St. Joseph Academy (St. Augustine) 0 

Thursday, Oct. 20 (Championship) 

No. 1 Oak Hall vs. No. 2 Countryside Christian, 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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