Santa Fe (Alachua) had visiting Space Coast (Cocoa) seeing stars Tuesday in the FHSAA Class 4A Region 2 quarterfinals.
After sweeping through the district playoffs last week, top seeded Santa Fe (26-2) rained kills, tips and service aces on the court against No. 8 seed Space Coast (13-6) like a barrage of meteorites.
“We played very efficient,” said Santa Fe coach Eric Marshall. “We were very efficient from the service line, which we haven’t done lately. We’ve worked a lot on it in practice. I always say serving is the key.
“We wanted to make (Space Coast) uncomfortable. We didn’t want them to get the ball to their best player. If you get the ball to her, she’s going to give you trouble and they couldn’t get it to her because of the serve receive, so it made them look way different than they really are.”
Santa Fe set the tone early jumping to a 6-0 lead behind two kills from Jayln Stout and a Gracie Hardacre service ace. A Space Coast timeout couldn’t stop the barrage as the Raiders used multiple kills from Camille Johnson and Stout, coupled with four Miya Thomas aces, to outscore the Vipers 19-6 to close the first set.
The second set was more of the same as Santa Fe went ahead 9-3 highlighted by three Anisa Dorlouis hits for points. The Vipers pulled within 10-5, but the Raiders went on a 12-2 run paced by Joselynn Sanjurjo (three kills), two Hardacre aces and two more Dorlouis hits, including the set-winning tip.
“(Dorlouis) was seven for seven on those (tips), which is unbelievable,” Marshall said.
And Santa Fe’s coach was also pleased with how many players stepped up on offense for the Raiders.
“We’ve been kind of a one-trick pony for a while with Jay (Jayln Stout) and having to set her so many times, so we’ve been working once again in practice,” he said. “We have other hitters, like Camille Johnson just went nine for 10 without an error, but we don’t get her the ball enough.
“So, we’ve been working on it in practice because we have a safety. The safety is Jay, so we’ve got to work on that, and we’ve been working, and it showed tonight with Camille and Joselynn out of the middle. If we get the ball to Joselynn nice and high, she’s hard to stop because she can outreach most people.”
The Vipers took a 3-2 lead in the final set before the Raiders put the match away, outscoring Space Coast 23-3 with five kills from Stout, four from Johnson and two from Dorlouis.
“We try to take one game at a time and never look over a team, said Stout, the reigning Florida Dairy Farmers Miss Volleyball. “We knew nothing about this team. It was a really fun game.”
Stout finished with 15 assists, 12 kills, six digs and three aces. Dorlouis added 10 assists, nine kills and seven digs. Johnson had nine kills and Sanjurjo had six kills. Thomas led the Raiders with 13 digs and four aces.
Santa Fe, ranked second overall in the state, has lost only one match to a Florida team this season, which came in its final home contest of the season against Trinity Catholic (Ocala) on Oct. 13. But the loss helped reignite the team’s determination since.
“It hurt us for a few days, we were sour about it because that’s a rivalry with kids they know and they compete against in club (volleyball),” Marshall said on the Trinity Catholic loss, saying the Raiders want to finish with a better record than last year. “We beat them earlier this year, we swept them, so to lose to them, we tried to spin it that way, it was typical even for me to spin it that way because it irritated me too, but yes we tried to spin it that way.”
Stout added the Trinity Catholic loss helped Santa Fe refocus.
“I think it was us being too nonchalant with teams,” she said. “They came in here and kind of kicked our tails, so it kind of put us back in gear and made us realize we can’t play like that if we really want to win.”
Santa Fe will host the No. 5 seed Astronaut (Titusville) War Eagles (18-5) at 7 p.m. on Thursday in the 4A semifinals.
2022 FHSAA Volleyball state playoffs
TUE., OCT. 25 – REGIONAL QUARTERFINALS
Class 2A-Region 1
No. 1 Oak Hall School 3, No. 8 St. John Paul II (Tallahassee) 0
No. 3 St. Johns Country Day (Orange Park) 3, No. 6 Countryside Christian 0
Class 3A-Region 1
No. 1 Trinity Catholic (Ocala) 3, No. 8 P.K. Yonge 0
Class 4A-Region 1
No. 3 South Walton (Santa Rosa Beach) 3, No. 6 Keystone Heights 0
Class 4A-Region 2
No. 1 Santa Fe (Alachua) 3, No. 8 Space Coast (Cocoa) 0
WED., OCT. 26 – REGIONAL QUARTERFINALS
Class 6A-Region 1
No. 6 Gainesville at No. 3 Mosley (Lynn Haven), 7 p.m.