Trinity Catholic earns ticket to the State Championship

Trinity Catholic players celebrate their win as they defeat Pensacola Catholic in the Class 3A Region 1 final at Trinity Catholic High School in Ocala, Fla. on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020. With the win, Trinity Catholic will now be heading the the Final Four State Tournament in Fort Myers. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2020.

Against all odds, Trinity Catholic advanced to the State Championship with an upset win over Bishop McLaughlin last week.

Meanwhile, Forest and Vanguard suffered losses and their 2020 seasons came to an end.

Here is a look at all the action:

3A:

Trinity Catholic

All season the girls of Trinity Catholic have been underestimated. Not any more.

Trinity defeated Pensacola Catholic 3-1 in the regional final last week, then toppled powerhouse Bishop McLaughlin Catholic on Nov. 7 to earn a spot in the State Championship game.

Bishop McLaughlin entered the match with a gaudy 24-2 record, but TC refused to be intimidated and put up a strong offensive attack with 64 kills.

Outside powerhouse hitter Kiana Laborde dominated the net with 31 kills, while Chloe Teter added 17 and Amelia Fitzpatrick threw down another 12. Making the kills possible were Isabella Sanchez with 37 assists and Fitzpatrick with 18.

Trinity Catholic’s Amelia Fitzpatrick (17) battles at the net with Pensacola Catholic’s Mallory Richardson (23) as the Celtics defeat Pensacola Catholic in the Class 3A Region 1 final at Trinity Catholic High School in Ocala, Fla. on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020. With the win, Trinity Catholic will now be heading the the Final Four State Tournament in Fort Myers. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2020.

The Celtics not only presented a fearsome offensive attack, but also had a remarkable night on defense. True freshman McKenna Yates did not fold under pressure, ending the night with 37 hard-earned digs. Adding to the team’s total digs of 116, were Laborde with 27 and Camden Crews with 20.

With the match going all 5 sets, TC fought for each and every point, ending the night with set scores of 25-20, 18-25, 25-21, 22-25 and 15-9.

“This season has been a blast,” head coach Jeff Reavis said. “These girls have been an amazing team to coach and constantly display a never-give-up attitude. All year we’ve been told we shouldn’t be winning, but guess what? We are winning game after game.”

With a current record of 17-6, the Celtics will have to dig deep when they take on the Warriors of Westminster Christian out of Miami in the State Championship. Westminster Christian is currently undefeated at 22-0. The two square off in Fort Myers on Nov. 14 at 4 p.m.

5A:

Vanguard

Vanguard’s Adyla Kerley (23) and Veronica Velez (32) console each other after their loss to Ponte Vedra in the Region 5A State Volleyball semifinal at Vanguard High School on Ocala, Fla. on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020. Ponte Vedra won the match 3 sets to 0. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2020.

The lady Knights faced Fivay in the Regional Final, winning 3-0, and moved on to the Final Four. With one last hurdle to overcome to make it to the State Championship, only undefeated Ponte Vedra stood in their way.

Ponte Vedra took down Vanguard in straight sets 25-12, 25-10 and 25-20.

Emma Ehmaan led the Knights offense with 7 kills on the night. On defense, Taryn Reardon had 10 digs, followed by Donita Buie with 8.

Unable to get their blocking in sync, Vanguard could not keep up with the fast-paced offensive attack of Ponte Vedra and their 2020 season came to an end. The Knights finished with a 15-3 record.

Coming off a strong season led by a young squad, Vanguard figures to be a force in 2021. The Knights have only one senior on the team, and their leading hitter is just a sophomore.

Vanguard’s Christina Light (5) and Adyla Kerley (23) jump to block a spike from Ponte Vedra’s Kendall Mignerey (7) in the Region 5A State Volleyball semifinal at Vanguard High School on Ocala, Fla. on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020. Ponte Vedra won the match 3 sets to 0. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2020.

6A:

Forest

Forest, having only lost one set going into the Regional Final on Oct. 31, looked across the net at St. Petersburg.

Emma Truluck had a formidable 24 kills on the night, followed by Emma Santi with 11. As a team Vanguard earned a total of 49 kills. Comparatively St. Petersburg had 55 kills in the match.

Defensively, the lady Wildcats out-dug their opponent with an astounding 117 digs, with Madilyn Jerald contributing 45; unfortunately, however, their scrappiness was not enough to overtake the Green Devils.

Although Forest fought hard, they lost 3-1, with set scores of 25-23, 25-22, 20-25 and 27-25.

Forest concludes the season at 16-1.

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