High School Sports

Led by Hernandez, Gibson and Bond, Westminster Christian volleyball moves into semis

Considered two of the best private high school girls’ volleyball programs in the county, Ransom Everglades and Westminster Christian went out and showed why Tuesday night.

With a berth in the Class 3A state semifinal on the line, the two teams went at it like a pair of prize fighters slugging it out with a spectacular display of monster kill shots and near-impossible saves.

When it was over it was Westminster Christian that had one or two more big plays than Ransom as the Warriors won a five-set, two-and-a-half hour marathon 3-2 (14-25, 25-21, 22-25, 25-21, 15-12) in its home gym before a standing-room-only and noisy crowd.

The Warriors (27-4) advance to the state final four for the first time since 2016, when they won the 4A state title and will travel to North Palm Beach to take on nationally-ranked Benjamin in a 3A state semifinal on Saturday at 2 p.m.

Benjamin mowed down Fort Lauderdale Calvary Christian in straight sets in the 3A regional final.

“Wow, what can you say, just an unbelievable match against a great team in Ransom and our girls were up to the task,” said Westminster Christian coach Julie Doan-Kurenuma. “To battle back they way they did says a lot about their heart and character.”

Doan-Kurenuma referred to Westminster Christian’s fourth set deficit. Down 2-1 in sets, the Warriors were in big trouble, trailing Ransom 16-9 in the fourth.

But, led by front liners Saskia Hernandez (14 kills, 36 digs), Trinity Gibson (10 kills) and Sydney Bond (23 assists,19 digs), Westminster went on a clutch 10-0 run to take a 19-16 lead before closing it out 25-21 to force a fifth and deciding set.

Trailing 10-9 in the fifth, the Warriors then went on a mini 4-0 run at just the right time to take a 13-10 lead. Bond then closed it out with a match-clinching kill shot as the Warrior players and their fans stormed the court in mass celebration.

“We practice stuff like that all the time,” said Hernandez referring to the team not losing its poise when things weren’t going well. “We’re close and know that we always have each others backs whether we’re up or down and that was the key to us coming back and winning that fourth set.”

Emiy Matias also enjoyed a big night recording 23 service points, 2 aces and 7 kills while Alyssa Cadavid came through with 14 assists and 7 digs.

Southwest d. West Broward 3-1 (19-25, 25-22, 25-15, 25-17): Southwest advancies to the state final four. Kitula Morales had 20 kills, 7digs, 6aces.’Layla Cortez 8 kills 2 blocks; Sheila Rodriguez 9kills 2 blocks; Briana Leon 18 digs 3 aces.