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Shorecrest falls in Keswick final


© St. Petersburg Times, published September 17, 2000

ST. PETERSBURG -- Keswick's 17th annual invitational was big-time volleyball. Orlando Lake Highland Prep's Paula Gentil provided the big-time.

The native Brazilian was more than big in the Highlander's 15-9, 15-5 win over Shorecrest for first place in the 16-team tournament. The junior had 7 kills, 3 bocks, and 1 electrifying jump-serve ace, earning her the most valuable player award.

Sophomore Whitney Purser served the opening game's first eight points and totaled five kills for the match, joining Highland teammate Molly Gabri on the all-tournament team.

"We didn't know what to expect," Lake Highland coach Charmaine Breunig said. "We were just looking to play some great volleyball.

The Highlanders played five matches in two days without losing a game.

It has been only about six months since Gentil made Highland her new home, but the prospects of a state title are within reach.

"A lot of our girls are so young, and I actually expected less than what we showed tonight," said Gentil, who has received several letters from colleges.

Shorecrest's Kim Johnson and Carley Zillig were named to the all-tournament team for a Chargers squad (7-4) that slipped past St. Petersburg Catholic and East Lake to reach the final.

"The tallest girl on my team is 5 feet 8, and to make it to second place against the teams that are in this tournament is just incredible for us," Charger coach Kathy Sessions said.

"We will definitely be more confident after this weekend."

Keswick Christian finished sixth. "We had great competition. We ran on schedule, if not ahead of schedule," Crusader coach Karrmayne King said of hosting one of the bay area's premiere events.

"It was just a great weekend all around."

Countryside's Erin Dixon and Keswick's Lindsey Kruis rounded out the all-tournament team.

Clearwater took third place with a 15-12, 14-16, 15-11 victory over East Lake.

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