Archbishop McCarthy beat Hollywood Hills 25-20, 25-14, 25-18 in the region 4-6A semifinals on Tuesday, never trailing at any point.
McCarthy (18-10) will play either Fort Myers or Naples Barron Collier Tuesday afternoon at 2 p.m.
The closet Hollywood Hills (17-6) came was 2-2 in the first game.
Each game featured a run by Hollywood Hills, which had defeated McCarthy 3-1 just over a month ago, but the Mavericks always stretched their lead too far for the Spartans to recover.
Archbishop McCarthy got excellent front-line play from senior duo Alyssa Savery and Natalia St. Thomas.
Savery, who Mavs coach Karen Frank said has “turned it on in recent weeks,’’ kept the Spartans defense off balance with an array of his spikes and soft taps.
Savery finished with six points and 15 kills and St. Thomas added 12 points, 20 kills and six digs.
Fellow senior Melissa Bandera did her part as a senior leader as well, totaling 37 assists, 10 points and eight digs.
Frank said that her team’s defensive effort will dictate how far they go.
“That’s what we’ve been focusing on — defense,” Frank said. “Our team is peaking now. Injuries, illnesses, and other nagging things have hampered us all season, but now we have our starting lineup solidified and we’re going to let our defense lead to our offense and let it carry us.”
• Region 3-8A semifinals – Western d. Douglas 25-17, 17-25, 25-23, 25-21: Behind Alexa Oblak’s booming spikes, Western advanced to regional finals for the first time in the past decade after defeating Douglas.
Oblak finished 21 kills and six blocks. Fifteen of her kills came in the third and fourth sets.
“Being in the front row, being a hitter, I had to put a lot of stuff on my shoulders,’’ Oblak said. “Being a big hitter, that’s what’s expected, but our setter’s great and our other hitters are great at passing.’’
Amanda Medlock, who pitched in an all-around performance, amassing 16 service points, 13 kills, 20 digs and six aces, finished off the Eagles with a thunderous spike that the Douglas defense could not handle.
“I said, ‘Oh please don’t go five. I don’t know if my heart’s going to be able to take it,’ ’’ Western coach Barry Sikorski said. “Let’s just get this over with.’’
The 25-23 third-set victory was critical for Western (18-6). After losing momentum in a second set where they appeared out-of-rhythm, the Wildcats were in need of a boost.
The Wildcats advance to the Region 3-8A finals, where they face the winner of the Jupiter-Boca Raton Community match.
• Region 4-7A semifinal – St. Thomas d. Monarch 25-8, 25-7, 25-10: Every starter from last year’s state semifinal squad returned this season for St. Thomas Aquinas, and coach Lisa Zielinski said the girls are on a mission.
The host Raiders beat Monarch 3-0 in a Class 7A regional semifinal to move within one match of another trip to state. They will face the winner of Royal Palm Beach and West Boca Raton Community at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Senior outside hitter Allison Belanger led the Raiders (21-3) with nine kills, six digs, 10 aces and one block. Senior middle blocker Shaybre Davis collected four blocks and two kills for the Knights (17-4).
St. Thomas Aquinas never trailed by more than two points in a set, and held the lead in each by the fifth point, never relinquishing it. Last season, the Raiders lost to Martin County in a state semifinal in four sets.
CHRISTINA DE NICOLA
• Region 4-5A semifinal – Jensen Beach d. Pompano 25-15, 25-19, 21-25, 25-17: Host Pompano Beach, with only one senior in the lineup, gave a valiant effort, but couldn’t keep up with Jensen Beach’s speed, especially in the backcourt and lost 15-25, 19-25, 25-21, 17-25 in the Region 4-5A semifinals.
"We just couldn’t keep up with their speed and they dug and touched everything we hit," Tornadoes coach William Strachan said after watching his squad end its season at 18-7.
Jensen Beach hitter Meghan Conway led the way with 20 kills, mostly set up following excellent digs from the backcourt. The Falcons (23-5) ended the match on an 11-3 run with Conway making five kills.
Trailing 2-0 in sets, the Tornadoes, behind the serving of Savannah Davis (three aces), rolled to a 6-0 start and squeezed out 25-21 game to extend the match.
At 22-21, the Tornadoes closed out the final three points of the set on a Davis kill, a Jensen Beach mishit from the backcourt, and a Julie Esposito kill off a Casey Calhoun assist.
In the first game, the Tornadoes took a 7-6 lead before the Falcons went on a 10-3 run on its way to a 25-15 finish in the first game on a Pompano Beach service error.
In the second game, the Tornadoes fell behind early, but rallied to tie the set at 17-17. But untimely errors resurfaced and the home team managed to score two of the next 10 points.
Jensen Beach captured game point at 25-19 on a Pompano Beach mishit at the net.
• Region 4-2A semifinal - Sheridan Hills Christian def. Greater Miami Academy 25-20, 25-22, 25-8: The Sharks (13-7) advanced to the region 4-A final thanks to a sweep of the Warriors Tuesday night at Greater Miami Academy (17-4). Sheridan Hills Christian will face Westwood Christian or Calusa Prep in the region final.
“We came to play and we were not going to back down to anyone,’’ said Sharks junior Caitlin McCluskey. “We are ready to get back to the region final and then on the road to states.’’
Sheridan Hills trailed 5-0 early in the third set, but finished with a dominating 25-3 run to win the match. McCluskey served during a 8-0 run that won the third set. She scored all three of her aces during that final run.
McCluskey led the Sharks with 20 kills. Valeria Estrada had 26 assists and Kassandra Dorta had 15 service points. The Warriors were led by Jessica
Hernandez who had 20 assists. Ericka Montalvo had 11 digs and Belicia Gayle had 10 kills.
• Region 4-3A semifinal – Calvary Christian d. Pope John Paul II 25-9, 28-26, 25-19: Emily Taylor 27 assists, 10 digs and three kills. CChr (19-8).
University School 10, Somerset 2: Gaston Becherano 4 goals, 1 assist. Brandon Berman 2 goals 1 assist. Josh Rubinton 2 goals.