Perhaps one day Western’s volleyball team will have its way with District 12-8A archrival Cypress Bay.
But it wasn’t going to happen Tuesday night. Facing off in a Region 3-8A semifinal in the Cypress Bay gym, the Lightning, which had beaten Western six consecutive times going into the match, including three times this year, survived an upset bid from the Wildcats to prevail in four games 25-18, 19-25, 25-18, 25-23 to complete a four-match sweep this season.
With the victory, Cypress Bay improved to 25-3 and will host Jupiter in a Region 3-8A final Saturday at 2 p.m. in a rematch of last year’s regional final that saw Jupiter win in straight sets in its gym.
Even to the end, the Wildcats (19-7) battled. Cypress Bay led 21-15 and was coasting to the easy fourth game win to close the match out only to have Western go on an 8-2 run to tie it at 23-23.
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But after picking up one point to go up 24-23, sophomore Marcelle Zaccour dribbled a little tap shot over the net that fell harmlessly to the ground in between diving Western players to end the match.
“We knew it would be a tough match so it was all about discipline,” second-year Lightning coach Jennifer Meyer said. “They [Western players] obviously know all of our players, and we know all of theirs, so we knew we didn’t have any more tricks up our sleeves, so being disciplined was key.”
Priscila Ertty (28 assists, seven services points), Cassidy Fisher (10 kills, two aces, two blocks) and Zaccour (nine kills, two blocks) were the big contributors for the Lightning.
▪ Region 4-5A semifinal — Pompano Beach d. Cardinal Gibbons 13-25, 25-22, 26-24, 25-18: In a fourth meeting between district rivals, host Pompano Beach overcame a slow start and came back from a lopsided first set to pull away and beat perennial state power Cardinal Gibbons in the regional semifinals.
The Tornadoes (22-6) were especially dominant in the latter stages of the final set, winning six of the last seven points to end the match, taking three of four matches against the Chiefs (18-8) for the season.
“I’ve never been excited in my four years here, beating Gibbons again, and when it counted,” said senior hitter Paige Alsten, who led her team with 10 kills. “I’m not one to cry, so I wasn’t ready for the season to end.”
She and teammate Nikki Esposito combined to make a back-breaking block at the net during the game-ending streak.
Pompano hopes to continue its season when it faces Merritt Island in the regional finals Friday.
Gibbons dominated play early, staggering the Tornadoes with early 8-1 and 19-9 leads before wrapping up the first set on a Daniela Molinari kill, followed by a Sarah Martin block. But Gibbons, a 19-time state champion, was unable to maintain the pace and became error-prone as the matches progressed.
Martin led the Chiefs with 11 kills, and Bailey Pearlman had nine.
▪ Region 4-8A semifinal — West Broward d. Flanagan 25-17, 25-18, 25-23: Sophomore setter Kasey Strauss had a team-high 32 assists and five digs to lead West Broward to a three-game sweep of Flanagan (15-7).
The Bobcats (17-4, 11-0) will face the Ferguson-Coral Reef winner Saturday afternoon for the regional title.
Brooke Webster dominated the net with five kills, six service points and five digs for the Bobcats.
The shortest player on the floor, Cyrani Butler, a 5-2 senior outside hitter had 10 kills and nine digs.
▪ Region 4-4A semifinal — Ransom Everglades d. Gulliver 25-20, 25-20, 25-17: For the fourth consecutive season, Ransom Everglades and Gulliver met in regional semifinals, and for the fourth time in a row Ransom came out on top.
The defending Class 4A state champion Raiders (27-4) advanced to host Pine Crest in the regional finals Saturday at 2 p.m.
Senior middle blocker and team leader Caroline Sklaver injured her ankle in pregame warmups, and although she was able to play, the Raiders needed someone else to step up. Junior outside hitter Sophie Bullard did her part with a team-high 12 kills.
Sklaver managed seven kills and two aces despite her injured ankle and said she will be fine for Saturday. Sofia Carrera-Justiz and Sydney Bent registered eight and seven kills, respectively, and Christina Ortiz recorded five aces.
Gulliver (16-13) got seven kills from Blanca Mengotti.
▪ Region 4-4A semifinals — Pine Crest d. Calvary Christian 25-11, 25-18, 25-19: Pine Crest dominated at the net in a 3-0 victory against Calvary Christian in a regional semifinal at Stacy Gym.
Pine Crest travels to face reigning state champion Ransom Everglades at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Ariana Altieri had 14 kills, 10 digs, and an ace in the win. Briana Bruny had nine kills and eight digs, and Sara Doque had 20 digs, three assists and an ace for the Panthers (17-7).
▪ Region 4-2A semifinals — Divine Savior d. Riviera Prep 25-21, 25-11, 25-19: A kill by Alejandra Rodriguez clinched the match and another trip to the regional finals for the host Sharks (21-3) in a sweep of the Bulldogs (15-4).
Ana Sofia Diaz had 26 assists, and Andrea Santiago had 26 digs for the Sharks.
Divine Savior will play at Boca Raton Christian on Saturday at 2 p.m. in the regional finals.
▪ Region 4-2A semifinals — Boca Raton Christian d. Sheridan Hills Christian 23-25, 25-12, 16-25, 25-21, 15-12: A young but experienced Boca Christian did not buckle under the intense environment that was the Sheridan Hills gym and rallied for the victory.
Sheridan Hills was led by Amber Stout, who hadfour kills, 29 assists and 14 digs.
Miami County Day 5, South Florida HEAT 1: Pablo Mejia, Sam Venson two goals. MCD 1-1.
St. Thomas Aquinas 0, American Heritage 0: Abby Pangallo (STA) 6 saves.
Cardinal Gibbons 1, University 0: Mackenzie Crittenberger, goal. Valencia Vigarino 4 saves, 3rd shutout. CG 3-0.
Ransom Everglades 2, Carrollton 2: Tiffany McBrayer, Jacquelyn Kirk (RE) goal. Michelle Diaz-Silveira (Carroll) 2 goals. RE 2-1-1.
South Dade 3, Palmetto 2: McKenzie VanHeusen 2 goals, Bania Duran goal. SD 3-0.
Hillel 8, Hebrew Academy 0: Ali Wolf, Alex Mendal 2 goals.
North Broward Prep 3, Pine Crest 0: Morgan Hawes goal, assist. Morgan Sherman a goal. NBP 5-0.
Ferguson 4, Varela 3: Michelle Moreno, goal, assist. Angel O’Neill goal.
St. Brendan 8, Archbishop Carroll 0: Nicole Dennis, Adri Prieto 2 goals.
Palmer Trinity 3, Riviera Prep 2: Tianna Schiappa Pietra (PT) goal, assist.
Coral Reef 8, Killian 0: Tatiana Rodriguez, Bianca Mandrini 2 goals. CR 3-0-1.
Mater Academy 8, Westland Hialeah 0: Julissa Benitez, Karla Vargas 2 goals. MA 3-1.
Norland vs. Hialeah-Miami Lakes (Hendricks), 7
Region 4-8A semifinal: Ferguson at Coral Reef, 7
Region 4-7A semifinal: St. Thomas Aquinas at Reagan, 7
Region 4-7A semifinal: Atlantic at Monarch, 7
Region 4-6A semifinal: Mourning at TERRA, 7