On the other side of the net, the Miami Sunset boys’ volleyball team saw its nemesis from last year’s Class 8A state final — the same team it watched celebrate on the floor of Kissimmee’s Silver Spurs Arena after defeating the Knights in straight sets.
On Saturday in the gold bracket final of the Smoothie King Invitational, Sunset got its revenge.
With a concerted, focused effort defensively, the Knights won first place in the tournament over Orlando Bishop Moore with a 25-22, 25-20 victory at Ransom Everglades.
“We remembered that final,” Sunset coach Camilo Gaitan said. “I told [the team] this is our payback. We lost to them in the final, we’ve got to make sure that we come out strong, and we did. And it shows there with the results.”
Added senior outside hitter Juan De La Hoz, who also won tournament MVP: “It means a lot because last year we made it to state and didn’t have a chance to win it, and this year we got the revenge. We came with a lot of effort, and we did it.”
De La Hoz led the Knights (8-0) with seven kills and four digs, Alexander Lazo had five kills and two blocks, and Jose Morales registered six kills and six digs.
Gaitan and his players have gained confidence with the experience they gained in last year’s run to the state final.
“We know we’re a good team now, and we’ve proven it in this tournament,” Gaitan said. “That’s the big thing that we’re going to take away — that if we play our best, nobody can beat us.”
• Gold Bracket — 1st place game: Sunset d. Orlando Bishop Moore 25-22, 25-20.
• Gold Bracket — 3rd place game: Tampa Berkeley Prep d. Southwest Miami 19-25, 25-23, 15-11.
• Silver Bracket — 5th place game: Parkland Douglas d. Coral Reef 25-19, 25-17.
• Silver Bracket — 7th place game: Ransom d. Varela 25-18, 25-16.
• Bronze Bracket — 9th place game: Palmetto d. Killian 25-19, 26-24.
• Bronze Bracket — 11th place game: Chaminade d. Archbishop McCarthy 25-14, 19-25, 15-8.
• Copper Bracket — 13th place game: Florida Christian d. Park Vista 25-23, 25-16.
• Copper Bracket — 15th place game: Belen d. South Broward 25-20, 25-17.
• All-Tournament Team: Juan De La Hoz (SUN), Alex Lazo (SUN), Jose Morales (SUN), Everett La France (SUN), Christian Malias (OBM), John Givens (OBM), Ricky Reguera (SW), William Rodriguez (SW), Jorge Rojas (DOU), Matt Archambault (DOU), Malik Audain (CR), Oscar Rouco (CR), Victor Campano (RE), Nick Wenzel (RE), Yoan Bauedo (VAR), Javier Baez (VAR).
First-year Hallandale teammates Lia King and Regine Williams put on a show for the ages at the George Steinbrenner Invitational at the University of Tampa.
In building their case as the top girls’ track duo in Florida, King broke meet records in the triple jump, 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles and Williams won the 100 and 200 meters to help the Chargers win the girls’ team title in convincing fashion.
“This was an experience that I can’t describe, “ Hallandale coach John Battle said. “It’s like having LeBron [James] and [Dwyane] Wade on the same team. This was a message that Lia and Regine are back and ready to run against top-notch competition.”