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.