Santa Fe cruises to district title over Eastside

Santa Fe's Joselynn Sanjurjo with a hit against Eastside on Wednesday.
Santa Fe's Joselynn Sanjurjo with a hit against Eastside on Wednesday.
Photo by C.J. Gish

Santa Fe (Alachua) looked primed and ready to pursue a third straight Class 4A state championship on Wednesday.

The Raiders made quick work of Eastside in the District 6-4A Championship match, defeating the Rams, 25-4, 25-10, 25-10.

Two-time defending state champion Santa Fe (19-8) jumped to an 18-1 lead in the first set behind four Jordan Czaplewski kills and six Karlee Noah aces en route to a 25-4 win.

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In the second set, Santa Fe coach Eric Marshall kept his top two hitters on the bench in Czaplewski and Joselynn Sanjurjo as the Raiders would build an 11-3 lead.

Eastside (11-11) battled back to pull within 15-7, but Santa Fe would close the set behind Anna Carlisle’s two kills and an ace during a 10-3 run.

Santa Fe's Jordan Czaplewski with a hit against Eastside on Wednesday.
Photo by C.J. Gish Santa Fe’s Jordan Czaplewski with a hit against Eastside on Wednesday.

In the final set, Eastside kept it close early and were down only 8-5 before the Raiders went on a run keyed by two kills apiece from Czaplewski and Sanjurjo and a pair of aces from Czaplewski and Gracyn Marshall.

Afterward, Marshall was pleased with another district championship for his team.

“I don’t ever take them lightly,” he said. “I don’t care who we’re playing because your job is to be consistent and so far we’ve been consistent for six years, so that’s very, very good.”

Marshall will wait to see who Santa Fe plays first, but he knows, compared to the past two seasons where all roads led through the Raiders on the way to the state title, this year will be different.

“But now the work begins because regionals is going to be extremely tough,” he said. “It’s the first time we’ve been the underdogs in a few years, so we’ve got to teach how to play as the underdog. That will be our job as coaches, but it gets tough from here.”

Marshall said serving and playing within Santa Fe’s system will be crucial if the team wants to three-peat as state champions.

“For us, we only have a few keys that will allow us to win or lose and that’s going to be serving,” he said. “We have to outserve the other team and we have to be in the system. We’re not a great out-of-the-system team, so we have to be in the system. It’s where we can hang with teams that are better than we are. We’re going to face teams that are better than we are, so to beat a team that’s better than you, you’ve got to outserve them, and you can’t be out of system a whole bunch and give them a bunch of free balls or they’re going to make you eat it.”

Eastside's Kieara Hall with a dig against Bell on Wednesday.
Photo by C.J. Gish Eastside’s Kieara Hall with a dig against Bell on Wednesday.

Second-year Eastside coach Rachel Williams led the Rams to their first district title match since 2011. It was a 10-win improvement from last season’s 1-16 performance and a reason for optimism for Eastside’s program.

“I’m proud of the girls,” she said. “We switched our team a lot and they really worked hard. We’ve got several newbies that are new to the team and fairly new to volleyball, so they have improved a lot in a short season.

“I’m proud of where they’ve come and their attitude tonight because this is an awesome (Santa Fe) team that’s way above our ranking. I was proud of us hanging with them with some kills and blocks and aces even. Last year we were the fifth seed and lost that game, so we were excited to improve so much to be district runner-up.”

Looking to the future, Williams is excited for next season.

“We’re losing four seniors, so we’re sad about that. We’re going to miss them a lot, but we also have some freshmen and sophomores that are already on the varsity team that are looking good and improving,” she said.

Czaplewski led the Raiders with nine kills and added eight digs. Carlisle added nine digs and six kills. Marshall had 18 assists and five aces and Noah tallied seven aces.

For Eastside, Kieara Hall and Joanna Williams had seven digs apiece. Samiyah Daniels had three kills and Essence Davis added five digs.

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 18 – DISTRICT RESULTS

Santa Fe Karlee Noah with a serve against Eastside on Wednesday.
Photo by C.J. Gish Santa Fe Karlee Noah with a serve against Eastside on Wednesday.

Class 2A-District 4

Semifinals - at St. Francis Catholic

No. 1 Oak Hall School d. No. 4 St. Joseph Academy (St. Augustine) 25-15, 25-11, 25-11

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

Championship - at Santa Fe

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

THURSDAY, OCT. 19 – DISTRICT CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES

Times are subject to change

Class 1A-District 6

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

Class 1A-District 7

No. 2 Chiefland at No. 1 Newberry, 7 p.m.

Class 1A-District 8

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

Class 2A-District 4

No. 1 Oak Hall vs. No. 2 Countryside Christian/No. 3 St. Francis Catholic winner, 6 p.m. (at St. Francis Catholic)

Class 3A-District 3

No. 1 P.K. Yonge/No. 4 Crescent City winner vs. No. 2 Interlachen, 7 p.m. (at Starke Bradford)

Class 6A-District 4 – at Higher Seed

Eastside's Essence Davis with a dig against Santa Fe on Wednesday.
Photo by C.J. Gish Eastside’s Essence Davis with a dig against Santa Fe on Wednesday.

No. 2 New Smyrna Beach at No. 1 Gainesville, 6 p.m.

Eastside's Aniya Norman with a hit against Santa Fe on Wednesday.
Photo by C.J. Gish Eastside’s Aniya Norman with a hit against Santa Fe on Wednesday.
Eastside's Samiyah Daniels with a hit against Santa Fe on Wednesday.
Photo by C.J. Gish Eastside’s Samiyah Daniels with a hit against Santa Fe on Wednesday.
Santa Fe's Kim Daniels with a hit against Eastside on Wednesday.
Photo by C.J. Gish Santa Fe’s Kim Daniels with a hit against Eastside on Wednesday.
Eastside's Joanna Williams with a hit against Santa Fe on Wednesday.
Photo by C.J. Gish Eastside’s Joanna Williams with a hit against Santa Fe on Wednesday.
Santa Fe's Gracyn Marshall with a set against Eastside on Wednesday.
Photo by C.J. Gish Santa Fe’s Gracyn Marshall with a set against Eastside on Wednesday.

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