By SCOTT PURKS and Times staff writer
© St. Petersburg Times, published November 5, 2000
TAMPA -- The same teams met in last year's Class A, Region 2 final -- Bayshore Christian and Pine Castle Christian -- except this time the scenario was flip-flopped.
Last year, Bayshore won at Pine Castle in the region final, but this time Pine Castle won at Bayshore, 15-3, 15-11.
The loss ended Bayshore's bid to make three consecutive final fours, and left coach Melanie Humenansky frustrated with her team's serving.
"I told them before the match that the team who made all their serves would probably win the match," she said. "Well, we didn't serve well at all in that first game. We finally started playing our style of volleyball in the game, but it was too late."
Humenansky said the Faith Warriors (22-9, No. 7 in the state) have started matches slowly all season, and after her team dropped the first game Saturday night, she was confident they could come back, just like they had done many times before.
"I think maybe we were a little more anxious because we knew this was a do-or-die situation," she said. "But that's the way it is in the playoffs and we knew that."
Bayshore led 7-4 and 10-7 in the second game, largely behind the spikes of Ericka Womack, who led all players with nine kills. When Womack rotated to the back row, however, Pine Castle (25-7, No. 2 in the state) made a 6-1 run with a diverse attack and closed out the match shortly after that.
Bayshore advanced to the final by beating Central Florida Christian 15-8, 15-5 Saturday afternoon. Pine Castle advanced with a 15-4, 15-2 victory over Sonrise Christian.
After the final loss, Humenansky noted that all but two of her players will return next year. "We'll be back next year," she said. "I have no doubt about that."
Bayshore won the Class A state title in 1998 and lost in last year's state semifinals.
For the second time in as many seasons, Tampa Prep did something unusual in its volleyball playoff history: It lost to someone other than Berkeley Prep and didn't make the state's final four.
Tampa Prep, winners of 13 state titles, lost in the final, 16-14, 3-15, 15-11 to Naples St. John Neumann.
"It was a see-saw match, back and forth, back and forth," Tampa Prep coach Paul McAdoo said. "They had a tough team. ... We certainly knew enough about them, but we just made too many hitting errors and had too many mental lapses."
Tampa Prep (24-9) tied it at 14 in the first game, before Neumann collected an ace and then the final point to close out the game. The final game was close throughout before Neumann (27-3 and ranked No. 2) made its final run.
Last season, Tampa Prep lost to Northside Christian in a district semifinal, ending an almost 20-year string where the Terrapins hadn't lost to anyone other than Berkeley Prep in the playoffs.
The upside is that all but one player returns next season.
"This is going to hurt for a while," McAdoo said. "But we'll bounce back." -- TIMES STAFF
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