So far this season, Class 3A Westminster Christian has been South Florida’s girls’ volleyball power, with St. Thomas Aquinas not far behind.
Meanwhile, St. Brendan and Cardinal Gibbons appear to be on a highly ranked collision course in Class 4A.
And defending state champion Divine Savior has suffered a crushing loss due to injury.
With the single-elimination regional playoffs set to begin next Wednesday, several Miami-Dade and Broward teams have distinguished themselves as high-end contenders for state titles.
The biggest news regarding local volleyball this month came when Divine Savior senior Fabiana Castro’s high school career ended with a torn right ACL. Castro, the Miami Herald Player of the Year last season, is a Division I recruit (Bryant University), but she will have surgery on Friday and is expected to be out at least nine months.
“She had just passed 1,000 career kills,” Divine Savior coach Matt Willems said. “It was a non-contact injury. Even coaches that I don’t know that well have contacted me to say, ‘Sorry about Fabi.‘ “
Divine Savior (19-7) also took a hit prior to this season when junior Marcelle Baez decided to remain in Puerto Rico and not enroll. That has left Willems with a rotation that includes seven sophomores and one senior.
Miami Country Day will challenge Divine Savior on Thursday in the District 14-3A final. All district winners are guaranteed of advancing to the regionals. In addition, four wild-card teams per region will advance, and those determinations will be made strictly by their ranking.
Here’s a quick look at Dade and Broward teams in districts where finals had been set as of early Wednesday:
7A: Ferguson vs. Coral Reef in District 16; GMAC champ Southwest vs. Miami Beach (15); and Cypress Bay-West Broward (14). The highest-ranked teams among that group are Cypress Bay (39), West Broward (78) and Southwest (79).
6A: Mater Academy-Lourdes (16); Aquinas-Fort Lauderdale (14). Aquinas is ranked 20th, Mater is No. 91, and Lourdes is at 93. On Sept. 23, Lourdes (17-8) lost a five-match thriller to visiting Mater, with a 16-14 score in the final frame. On Thursday, Lourdes will again host Mater, although both teams are essentially assured of advancing to the regionals due to their high rankings relative to their regional competition.
4A: MAST-LaSalle (15); University-Somerset (14); Cardinal Gibbons-Pine Crest (13); St. Brendan, ranked 24th will play Key West in the semifinals on Thursday. Gibbons is ranked 33rd and Pine Crest 94th. St. Brendan (20-4) beat Gibbons (16-9) last weekend, and a rematch may happen in regionals.
3A: Westminster Christian-Palmer Trinity (16); Ransom Everglades-Riviera Prep (15); Divine Savior-Miami Country Day (14). Westminster is ranked ninth; Divine Savior 52nd and Ransom 53rd.
2A: Miami Christian, ranked 245, plays Westwood Christian (316) for the District 16 title.
Goleman routs Krop in football
They may have had to wait four extra days to get the game played, but the wait proved to be well worth it for the Goleman football team on Tuesday afternoon.
The Gators, in a game postponed last Friday due to inclement weather, mowed down Krop 46-21 at Goleman High School in a battle of undefeated teams from the north division of the newly formed GMAC Independent Conference.
The win moved the Gators to 7-0 and locked them in to the championship game against the south division first place team on Nov. 2 at either Traz Powell Stadium or Tropical Park. Krop fell to 6-1.
Sunset will square off against Reagan on Friday, and the winner of that game will be in the driver’s seat to be the south representative.
Senior QB Anthony Hernandez led the Gators with 165 yards on the ground and 2 rushing touchdowns. He added another touchdown through the air to wide receiver David Fumero. Hernandez’s quarterback rating must be awfully good as he now has 18 passing touchdowns on the year with no interceptions and eight touchdowns on the ground.
Sophomore wide receiver/running back Avari Marshall added two scores on the ground, and Zachary Valcarcel added two rushing scores as well along with two interceptions on a defense that recorded a total of five takeaways.
”Our guys really stepped up to the occasion, and we had a great game on all three phases of the game against a very good quality opponent,” Goleman coach Ariel Cribiero said. “Most of our kids have been in the program for four years and have been through adversity before, and their determination really showed today.”
▪ District 16 championship: Doral Academy wins with a team score of 342. Coral Gables took second with a team score of 423. DOR – Giuliana Gomez 78 (medalist); Gabriela Gomez 86; Ana Carolina Ojeda 88; Ayanna Lee 90; Darlene Infantas- 91; CG – Thais Forbes 93; Sofia Alfonso 100; Kaylah Clethen 103; Sofia Cruz 127; Individuals advancing to regional: Gabriella Chavez (Lourdes) 82; Alexandra Delisle (Miami Beach) 83; Nicole Hechevarria (Ferguson) 86.
▪ Riviera Prep d. Florida Christian 3-0 (25-10, 25-19, 25-9): Gabriela Arroyo 18 kills, 16 digs; Rayna Anders 26 digs, 5 aces; Iza Santiago 16 kills, 9 digs; RP: 15-11.
▪ Columbus d. Gulliver 7-0: Giancarlo Perez high game (246) and high series (649). COL: 8-2.
▪ Braddock d. TERRA 7-0: Alec Garcia (BR) high game (166) and high series (479). Alec Osorio (TER) high game (256) and high series (699).
▪ Coral Park d. Sunset 5-2: High Game: Nicolas Rodrigues (CP) 151, Sebastian Ituregui 139 (SUN). High Series: Nicolas Rodriguez (CP) 405, Sebastian Ituregui (SUN) 376.
▪ HEAT d. Schoolhouse Prep 7-0: Jason Herrera (HEA) high game 165, 405 set; Tyler Keller (HEA) high game 199, 549 set; Ronell Prado (SP) high game 168, 376 set; Sebastian Ventura (SP) high game 109, 283 set; Alyssa Montans (SP) high game 102, 207 set.
▪ Palmetto d. South Miami 7-0: High Game: 267 Connor Pipho, (PAL) high game (267) and high series (657). PAL: 7-2.
▪ Palmetto d. South Miami 7-0: PAL – High games, Colleen Ryan (165), Giulliana Vazquez (127) and Sydney Rouviere (127). High series: Colleen Ryan (385). PAL: 5-4.