Tourney pits best against best


Special to The Miami Herald

Westminster Christian, Ransom Everglades and Chaminade-Madonna are three of the top four seeds in this weekend’s fifth annual Smoothie King girls’ volleyball tournament.

Westminster and Ransom will both host matches Friday. Ransom will host play on Saturday, with the final set for 5:15 p.m.

The top overall seed is a team out of Fort Myers, Evangelical Christian (17-3), which last year beat Westminster in the Class 3A state semifinals. Evangelical went on to lose in the state final.

Westminster (13-2) beat Evangelical twice in last year’s regular season and again 3-0 this past Saturday. But the Warriors still respect Evangelical.

“They play great defense, and their pin hitters are strong,” Westminster coach Julie Doan said. “Their girls all play club, so they compete at a high level year-round.”

Although Evangelical is the top seed, Westminster is the state’s top-ranked team in Class 3A, according to MaxPreps. Evangelical is fourth.

Westminster also has the best player in the tournament, according to, which lists the Warriors’ Sylvia Hernandez as one of five candidates for the state’s Player of the Year award.

Hernandez, a 5-10 junior outside hitter, is the shortest player on the list and the only non-senior. The favorite for the award is 6-1 outside hitter Lindsey Owens, a Virginia Tech recruit who plays for Orlando’s Bishop Moore.

Hernandez was The Miami Herald’s Class 4A-2A Player of the Year last season and made USA Volleyball’s All-Tournament team at nationals each of the past two years.

“Sylvia is really deserving of the nomination for Florida Player of the Year,” Doan said. “I’m real proud of her. She’s been with our program since age 12, and it’s been impressive to see her grow.”

Hernandez helped Westminster beat Ransom 2-0 last month at the Berkeley Prep Premier tournament in Tampa. But a rematch could take place this weekend.

Ransom (18-2) has won nine in a row since the loss to Westminster. Ransom’s only other loss was to a top team from Kentucky.

Chaminade (17-1) has the fewest losses of any team in the tournament, with only a 2-1 blemish earlier this month against Palmer Trinity. Chaminade is ranked third in 4A, according to MaxPreps.


• Doctors d. Hebrew Academy: Carol Sayori 16 aces, 11 kills. Brianna Bruny 3 aces, 6 kills. Allison Yao 20 assist, 9 aces. DOC 14-3.

• Late Tuesday – Westminster Christian d. Pine Crest 25-21, 25-20, 25-14:Michelle Melendez 15 assists, 8 points. Vicki Verdeja 9 points, 6 digs. Jenny Ceballos 18 digs, 13 kills. WC 16-3.


• Late Tuesday – Columbus 7, Palmetto 0: High game: Jason Gonzalez (COL) 247. High Series: Jason Gonzalez 603. COL 7-3.


• Girls’ – American 31, Westland 35: 1. Kassandra Medina (WES) 22:32. 2. Alexandra Fernandez (AMER) 25:01. 3. Kathy Baquero (AMER) 26:48.

• Boys’ – Westland Hialeah 26, American 29: 1. Tristan Enriquez (AM) 18:01. 2. Dustin Hernandez (WES) 20:13, 3. Angel Milian (WES) 21:10.


• Belen 139, Columbus 55: Manny Lopez won 200 IM and 100 breast. Julian Ballestas won 200 free and 100 free. Ryan Guso won 50 free. Boleck Depawlikowski won 500 free.

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