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).