Bayshore Christian eases into region final

Published November 4, 2005

TAMPA - Bayshore Christian coach Melanie Humenansky was none too pleased after her team's Class A region quarterfinal win Oct. 25. The 17 missed serves mostly raised Humenansky's ire.

A week and plenty of practice later, Bayshore's serves were dominant, as were the Faith Warriors. Behind solid serving and superior front-line play, Bayshore Christian swept Boynton Beach Lake Worth Christian 25-9, 25-20, 27-25 Thursday in the region semifinal.

"That wasn't like us at all," Humenansky said. "We spent a lot of time on serves this week."

The extra attention showed. Junior hitter Adria Mullaney posted 11 aces, seven in Game 1 as Bayshore Christian took a 17-1 lead. Lake Worth (16-13) played better in each of the remaining games, taking early leads in both before Bayshore's front-line play made the difference. Bayshore Christian needed a 9-4 run at the end of Game 2 and had to go to extra points in the final game.

"Any time you have a little momentum, you can use your serve to keep momentum and slow down their offense," Humenansky said. "Adria has a phenomenal serve and we were able to do that for a while. But (Lake Worth) played well in the later games."

But not well enough.

Lake Worth had no answer for Mullaney or hitters Heather Johnson and Jannica Mollett. In addition to her serving, Mullaney added nine kills and nine digs. Johnson added 12 kills and nine digs; Mollett had 13 kills and four digs. Also, hitter Sam Johnson had six digs and setter Ashlea Ballengee tallied 29 assists.

Bayshore Christian (25-5), the state's two-time defending champion, is a victory from the state final four and another trip to Lakeland. Bayshore will play for the region championship Saturday against Lake Worth Trinity Christian (23-3).

"We talked about stepping up and playing the best that we possibly can," Humenansky said. "We need to make one more step. We feel pretty good and the girls have said they are ready to play."

Seffner Christian bows out

Seffner Christian fell to Lake Worth Trinity Christian 25-18, 26-24, 25-18 in a Class A region semifinal.

"They were a very good team and we just couldn't raise our game to the level we needed," Seffner Christian coach Mary Beth Varner said. "I thought we were going to make a run at them in that second game, but we just came up short."

Seffner Christian (23-4) improved from 2004's 19-3 season and with a veteran unit, Varner thought this might be the year to get to the state finals. "We faced extremely tough competition all year being in a district with perennial powers Bayshore Christian and Cambridge," she said. "But it just wasn't enough"

Middle hitter Holly Barber and senior outside hitter Jessy Leggett kept the Crusaders in the match.

- JIM REESE, Times correspondent