In a rematch of the final at last season’s Smoothie King Invitational, the host Ransom Everglades girls’ volleyball team defeated Westminster Christian 17-25, 25-21, 15-8 on Saturday to earn its second tournament title in a row.
Westminster dominated the first set, but after the teams switched sides, Ransom made adjustments and took control from that point.
Setter/right-side hitter Nikki Colonna earned tournament MVP honors for the Raiders (22-3). She had six kills and 14 assists in the final.
“It wasn’t anyone specifically. It was each kill that everyone made,” said Colonna, who is committed to Lynn University. “I just feel like we really clicked in this tournament.”
Middle blocker Caroline Sklaver was instrumental in gaining momentum on Ransom’s side after dropping the first set. Three of her seven kills and one of her two aces came in the decisive game. She also had 10 assists.
Colonna and Sklaver made the all-tournament team along with libero Terre Bernace and outside hitter Lisette Tellez. Tellez had four kills and six digs, and Bernace had 11 digs.
This year’s Ransom team is motivated to prove itself after losing four starting seniors off a squad that reached state semifinals in Class 4A last season.
“A lot of people think that we were going to be weaker this year because we lost four starters,” Bernace said. “It’s kind of a mission of mine to prove to everyone that we’re not going to be weaker this year. We’re going to go to states and we’re going to have a good run.”
Westminster Christian (21-4) was led by Jenny Ceballos and her 14 kills, 10 digs and two aces. Sylvia Hernandez had eight kills, eight digs and a pair of aces while Kelsey Taylor registered 31 assists, nine digs and four kills.