There was at least one surprise on the first day of district playoffs: Tampa Prep girls are tied with Saddlebrook entering today's Class A, District 8 finals at Berkeley Prep.
The Terrapin boys expected to have as strong a first day as they did last year and finished Monday trailing one point behind Saddlebrook. But it was the girls who delighted coach Mark Hoekstra.
"I'm really pleased," he said. "They really came through well, and most of the matches weren't very close."
Unfortunately for Tampa Prep, though, that may be the closest both teams get to a district title. The Terps have little chance of getting past Saddlebrook today.
The King girls, which finished third in last year's Class 3A state tournament, lost their top player, Laura Gioia, when she transferred to Freedom. Yet King coach Carole Pressick-Cooper is even more confident in this season's Lions. They blew through the first round of postseason matches and enter today's finals with a good shot at going undefeated in 3A-8 at Hunter's Green.
"It's really exciting, because it's going to come down to a real team effort," Pressick-Cooper said. "It'll depend on my (positions) 3, 4 and 5 players."