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Preps

Crusaders win a wild one

Tampa Catholic defeats Academy of the Holy Names in five games to advance to the Class 3A, District 9 final.

By C.J. RISAK
Published October 20, 2004

CLEARWATER - Tampa Catholic rallied in Game 4 then staved off match point in Game 5 to beat Academy of the Holy Names 25-22, 12-25, 16-25, 25-22, 17-15 and advance to the Class 3A, District 9 final. It faces Sarasota Cardinal Mooney, which beat host Clearwater Central Catholic 15-25, 25-22, 25-9, 25-15, in the final at 7 tonight.

AHN defeated Tampa Catholic in straight sets twice during the regular season.

After losing the first game, the Jaguars (16-9) cruised to wins in Games 2 and 3 behind Deli Marsonek, who has signed with West Virginia. And it led 20-18 in Game 4. But Becky Bullard served four consecutive points for the Crusaders (15-7), who went on to take the game.

AHN then led 14-11 in the deciding game before Tampa Catholic rallied again.

"It was a total team effort," said Crusaders coach Ernie Fry, who is retiring after this season. "They were beating us steady. They got that big kid (Marsonek) in the middle. She's the most valuable player in our district. They center their team around her. We exploited their lines with our six seniors."

Cardinal Mooney faced a similar task in CCC, a team that finished at 17-7, but the Cougars didn't have the six seniors Fry could call on.

Elsewhere

CLASS 6A, DISTRICT 6: Durant turned back Sarasota for the third straight time this year and advanced to the final, winning 25-15, 25-12, and 25-12.

Winners of both regular season matches between the two teams, Durant's opponent in the final is Sarasota Riverview, winners over Tampa Riverview in the other semifinal match.

Durant and Sarasota Riverview met twice early in the season with Sarasota Riverview winning both.

The championship is 7 p.m. Thursday at Durant.

CLASS 2A, DISTRICT 10: Berkeley Prep encountered little resistance as it moved into the final by beating host Lakeland McKeel Academy 25-12, 25-13, and 25-9. The Bucs (21-4) play Lakeland Christian at 7 p.m. Thursday.

"This game went about the way we thought it would," Berkeley coach Randy Dagostino said. "We gained control early on and remained consistent in our game throughout the entire match."

Janet Okogbaa and Anne Miller led Berkeley with 15 and 10 kills, respectively, and Kate Parker had 34 assists.

CLASS A, DISTRICT 6: Bayshore Christian moved into the district title match by easily turning back Tampa Baptist in three games, 25-3, 25-12, and 25-17.

The win sets up the district final at 7 p.m. Thursday when Bayshore Christian meets Cambridge, winners over Seffner Christian in the other semifinal, at Bayshore Christian.

"Our whole team played very well tonight and that is what we are going to need if we are to repeat as state champions again this year," Bayshore Christian coach Melanie Humenansky said.

- Compiled by JIM REESE, Times correspondent

[Last modified October 20, 2004, 00:18:19]


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