Forest wins district volleyball title


Forest players celebrate as the Forest Wildcats defeat the Gainesville Hurricanes 3 sets to 0 in the Class 6A District 5 Championship at Gainesville High School in Gainesville, Fla. on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2020.

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Posted October 19, 2020 | By Morgan Willett, Ocala Gazette

From the inception of the 2020 season, the lady Wildcats have had their sights set on the state tournament and it shows. Not having lost a single set in the regular season, one might say their season was perfect and has vaulted them to the 31st ranking in the state.

In the first round of district championship play, Forest faced off against Buchholz, who handed Forest its first set loss of the season. But after losing set two, 22-25, Forest rallied and won sets three and four, resulting in a match victory of 3-1.

Forest’s Emma Truluck (5) spikes the ball over the net as the Forest Wildcats defeat the Gainesville Hurricanes 3 sets to 0 in the Class 6A District 5 Championship at Gainesville High School in Gainesville, Fla. on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2020.

For the district championship, Forest beat Gainesville in straight sets, 25-18, 25-19 and 25-23.  The divine duo of strong outside hitter Emma Truluck and setter Sheridan Turner continue to shine for Forest. Truluck, with 137 kills on the season, is currently ranked third in the state.  Emma Santi, also on the outside, is ranked fourth in the state with 82 kills.

But Forest’s strength is their well-rounded team play. On the defensive side of the game, Madilyn Jerald is currently ranked second in the state with 178 digs. Jerald and Truluck are also in the top five for aces.

Forest’s Emma Santi (13), center, becomes emotional as she celebrates with other Forest players moments after the Forest Wildcats defeated the Gainesville Hurricanes 3 sets to 0 in the Class 6A District 5 Championship on Thursday. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2020.

Forest players and coaches celebrate with the championship trophy after the lady Wildcats defeated Gainesville 3 sets to 0 in the Class 6A District 5 Championship at Gainesville High School on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2020.

The road to a state title doesn’t get any easier, however. With home court advantage, Forest is matched up against South Lake for the regional quarterfinal. South Lake, also with a formidable record of 18-5, will likely be Forest’s toughest opponent to date. The two take the court at 7 p.m. Wednesday.