Chaminade’s volleyball team must have had plans to watch the Miami Heat’s season-opening game Tuesday as it defeated visiting Miami Edison 25-8, 25-6, 25-9 in a match that took less than 50 minutes.
The Lions (23-3) will face Cardinal Gibbons — a team they have defeated twice already this season — in the Region 4-4A semifinal.
Chaminade set an early tone and wasted little time getting out in front.
Senior outside hitter Jordan Palmer led the Lions, who lost in the district semifinals last season, with 26 points and 16 aces.
Sydney Armbrister added 11 points, with six aces and four kills. Brianna Little added six kills.
Chaminade coach Jason Johnson is wary of the upcoming matchup with Cardinal Gibbons.
“It’s hard to beat a team three times in the same season,’’ Johnson said. “But we’re going to prepare the way we know how and go from there.’’
• Region 4-4A quarterfinal – Cardinal Gibbons d. Monsignor Pace 25-10, 25-16, 25-23: Having not won a district title for the first time in 10 years, it must have felt a little odd for Cardinal Gibbons to be playing a regional quarterfinal in someone else’s gym. But the Chiefs, who have suffered through a very un-Gibbons-like rebuilding year this season, had no problem downing host Monsignor Pace in three consecutive games night in a 4A regional quarterfinal matchup.
Gibbons (12-11) will get its shot at redemption next week when the Chiefs travel to Chaminade, which they have lost to twice this year, including last week’s district final, in a regional semifinal matchup. Pace finished its season 18-7.
“It’s definitely a little bit of a strange feeling for sure,” said Gibbons coach Kathryn Reeber, now in her fifth season after taking her team to the state final a year ago. “We’ve had such great senior leadership over the recent years and we lost all of that last year, and now we need new girls to step up and learn to lead and that’s still a work in progress. We’ll need to be at our very best next week if we want to get past Chaminade.”
As evidenced by their youth, the Chiefs were led by freshman Sarah Martin and sophomore Francesca Sequani. Martin finished with 31 assists, four digs, seven service points and three aces, and Sequani recorded eight kills and three blocks.
• Region 3-8A quarterfinal – Douglas d. Cypress Bay 25-14, 22-25, 27-25, 25-21: Stoneman Douglas played its Region 3-8A volleyball quarterfinal matchup against a familiar team: the Cypress Bay Lightning. In 2011, the Eagles defeated Cypress Bay in three sets in the regional quarterfinals.
On Tuesday, the host Eagles defeated Cypress Bay again, this time in four sets to advance to the regional semifinals against Western High School.
Douglas (21-2) held an early 10-7 lead in the first set when a string of questionable calls went against Cypress Bay. Combined with unforced errors and communication issues by the Lightning, Douglas took a 20-12 lead and went on to win the set.
“You can’t ever blame the ref for the way we played,” Cypress Bay coach Chris Guerra said. “We played great. Sometimes the calls don’t go your way, but it was tough to get over.”
In the second set, the Lightning responded. Tied at 22-22, Cypress Bay scored three consecutive points to take the set. In the pivotal third set, Douglas held a 23-19 lead when Cypress Bay (14-7) went on a 7-2 run.
Cristina Finan had three of her 15 kills in the match during the run to tie the set at 25-25. Douglas took advantage of Cypress Bay mistakes to win the third set.
“When they were running three, four five points on us, we didn’t get our heads down,” Douglas coach Austin Clubb said. “The girls showed a lot of maturity and poise.”
In the final set, Douglas held a 22-20 lead when the Eagles’ Kristen Khul scored two of her 15 kills in the game to lead Douglas to the victory.
In their drive to the FHSAA Cross-Country State Finals, which opened this week with District meets, Broward’s top girls’ teams state title contenders have handed the keys over to the young guards.
Showing poise and championship mettle beyond their years, Pine Crest freshman Julia Montgomery, St. Thomas Aquinas freshman Alexa Cruz and American Heritage eighth-grade sensation Daesha Rogers — top contenders for Broward Girls’ Runner of the Year — will lead the charge.
Montgomery, who has sparked the Panthers to the No. 3 rank in 2A with a personal-best 17:52, which ranks No. 1 in Class 2A and No. 3 overall in Florida, could find her stiffest challenge to an individual state title in Rogers, the 2011 Class 2A state runner-up and reigning Broward runner of the year.
The two stars will face each other in what is expected to be three riveting head-to-head showdowns starting at the District 14-2A Championships at Mills Pond Park on Wednesday morning, and continuing through Region 4-2A and the FHSAA State Finals on Nov. 17 in Tallahassee.
Pine Crest coach Paul Baur said the work ethic Montgomery showed last Summer at a runner’s camp convinced a core group of seniors — Ella Wurth, Savanna Gornisiewicz and Hannah Montague — that Montgomery was ready for a leadership role.
“All our seniors were at the team camp in North Carolina,’’ Baur said. “They could see right away that Julia was going to be real good and a huge addition to the team. Julia just blended right in. That helped her, being a freshman, grow close to her teammates.”
Rogers, who along with Rachelle Alexander provide a formidable 1-2 punch for the No. 8 Patriots, didn’t make her season debut until Oct. 5 when she finished third in 20:52 at the Varela Viper Invitational.
While there is some speculation Rogers’ relative late start could put her at a stamina disadvantage, opponents are wary of a competitive streak which has made Rogers one of the nation’s top distance runners.
“I’m ready to go out and run hard in all three races,’’ Rogers said. “There is a lot of competition out there and Julia will be one of them. I believe that I will get out faster and take off running. I feel she will catch up and the rest of the race we will be battling each other.”
Like Montgomery, Cruz has wasted little time asserting herself as her team’s No. 1 runner.
• Region 4-6A quarterfinal – Archbishop McCarthy d. Hialeah Miami Lakes 25-16,25-13, 25-18: Melissa Bandera 9 spikes, 3 aces, 30 assists. Natalia St. Thomas 13 sp, 3 aces, 8 kills. Alyssa Savery 9 spikes, 2 aces, 13 kills. AM 15-10.
.• Region 4-8A quarterfinal – Western d. Coral Glades 25-12, 25-11, 25-14: Amanda Medlock 16 digs, 12 kills and seven service points, two aces. Alexa Oblak 15 kills, six blocks five service points and five digs. Gabi Matos 29 assists, nine service points, two aces and three kills. West 17-6.
• Pine Crest 6, Coral Springs Charter 1: Isabella Turner two goals. Autumn Clark two goals. PC 1-0.
• Cardinal Gibbons 0, North Broward Prep 0: Tricia Solenski (CG) 12 saves.
State championships in Lake County
Region 4-7A quarterfinal: Blanche Ely at St. Thomas Aquinas, 4
Region 4-7A quarterfinal: South Broward at Monarch, 7
Region 4-5A quarterfinal: Riviera Beach Suncoast at Pompano Beach, 7
Region 4-3A quarterfinal: Sagemont at Boca Pope John Paul II, 7
Region 4-3A quarterfinal: Delray American Heritage at Calvary Christian, 7
District 14-2A at Mills Pond Park - Girls: 9 a.m.; Boys: 9:45 a.m.
Flanagan at McArthur, 7