The Florida High School Volleyball State Championship Final is taking place this weekend at West Port High School in Ocala. The participants include two local teams, in Newberry High School and St. Francis Catholic Academy.
For the Class 1A Newberry Panthers (21-6), the pressure is on with their first state volleyball championship on the line. In the state semifinals, Newberry rebounded back from a first-set loss to Union County to win the next three for a 3-1 victory– 20- 25, 25- 20, 25- 20, 27- 25.
Newberry will be taking on three-time defending state champion Sneads (24-5) in the final. Head coach Sherrodd Musley is making sure the team is prepared in this week’s practices, and that the team is focused on eliminating errors and cleaning up small mistakes. Musley’s goal is for the team to play their best, have fun, and to remember this moment. Key players for the upcoming match include senior setter Mackenzie Grawcock, who had 21 assists, nine digs, and eight service points at the semi-final match and junior outside Ashley Oelrich. These players, Musley hopes, will help bring the team to victory. This whole season the team has been very thankful for its overwhelming support from Newberry High School volleyball fans. The semifinal match is expected to be no different, with a great fan base to cheer these girls on to victory.
St. Francis Catholic Academy
The Class 3A St. Francis Catholic Academy Wolves (23-3) will face Naples Seacrest Country Day (23-6) in their state final. Head coach Jesus Montalvo says the team is very excited to play , as this is the first time in four years the team has qualified to advance to the state final. If St. Francis wins, this will be the first state championship for the school. The strategy for this match is to focus on the offense. The key player for this match is outside hitter and captain Abby Benton. Montalvo hopes she can help the team control the match. St. Francis also has a very strong fan base so hopefully the support from the fans will bring a victory to the school. For now, it is in God’s hands and the team is just excited for this opportunity to play their hardest.