Trinity Catholic hosts Episcopal today at 2. Vanguard plays at New Smyrna Beach.
HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL
WHO: Vanguard (25-4) at New Smyrna Beach (28-3)
WHAT: FHSAA Class 7A state semifinal
WHEN: Saturday, 2 p.m.
HOW THEY GOT HERE: The Knights def. Ponte Vedra Nease 25-16, 27-25, 19-25, 25-21, Forest 25-21, 25-14, 23-25, 25-17 and Crestview 25-22, 25-20, 27-29, 25-18. The Barracudas def. Groveland South Lake 25-15, 25-18, 25-10, Lakeland Lake Gibson 25-15, 14-25, 25-21, 25-11 and Sunlake 25-13, 26-24, 25-15.
NOTABLE: MaxPreps ranks New Smyrna Beach fifth and Vanguard first in its Class 7A rankings. ... These two teams have not played one another this season. ... The only common opponent for these two teams is Ponte Vedra Nease. The Knights topped Nease in the first round of the playoffs (score is above), while the Barracudas topped Nease 25-20, 25-22 on Sept. 15. ... The NSB is 10-0 at home, while VHS is 8-2 in road matchups this season. ... Senior Brooke Taylor, a lefty, leads NSB in assists with 723 and service aces (47). Junior Alyssa Guarino tops the Barracudas in digs (256) and service receptions (218), while junior Malinda Messner leads in kills (228) and senior Taila Gaines is tops in blocks with 96. ... Junior Rylie Conrad is Vanguard’s top blocker (41), while junior Florida State commitment Ainsley Clifford has the most aces (40). Junior Alexa Schmidt leads VHS in kills (405), senior Grace Letterly is tops in assists (561), and senior Essence Bell leads the Knights in digs (414) and service receptions (397). All stats were prior to the regional final against Crestview. ... Vanguard is unbeaten in 14 of its last 15 matches. The only loss in that stretch was at Class 5A state semifinalist Trinity Catholic on Oct. 11. ... New Smyrna Beach has won 16 consecutive matches.
UP NEXT: The winner will face the Naples Barron Collier (21-9)-Stuart South Fork (19-9) winner for the FHSAA Class 7A state championship next Saturday at 7 p.m. at Suncoast Credit Union Arena in Fort Myers.
PREDICTION: Vanguard in five sets
WHO: Episcopal School of Jacksonville (17-11) at Trinity Catholic (22-5)
WHAT: FHSAA Class 5A state semifinal
WHEN: Saturday, 2 p.m.
HOW THEY GOT HERE: The Eagles def. Pierson Taylor 27-25, 25-23, 25-19, Newberry 25-14, 25-20, 25-27, 12-25, 15-11. The Celtics def. Orlando The First Academy 18-25, 25-18, 23-25, 25-23, 15-9, Montverde Academy 26-28, 25-17, 25-15, 25-19 and Melbourne Holy Trinity Episcopal 25-23, 25-11, 23-25, 25-21.
NOTABLE: MaxPreps ranks the Celtics fourth and the Eagles 17th in their classification. ... Trinity Catholic and Episcopal have not played each other this season. ... The two teams have two common opponents. Tallahassee Leon topped the Celtics 21-25, 27-25, 25-17, 23-25, 17-15 on Aug. 31, while Trinity Catholic beat Montverde Academy in the second round of the playoffs (score is above). Leon defeated the Eagles 25-22, 25-22, 25-21 on Sept. 25 and fell to Montverde Academy 25-13, 25-22 three days later. ... Trinity Catholic is 10-2 at at home, while Episcopal is 6-0 in road matchups this year. ... The Eagles have won five consecutive matches, while the Celtics have won 13 straight, dating back to Sept. 15. ... Junior Penn State commitment Annie Cate Fitzpatrick leads Trinity Catholic in kills (440), service receptions (411) and aces (80). Annabelle Wiechens tops the Celtics in digs (318), Haley Hicks leads in assists (531), while Kate Wonus is tops in blocks (70). ... Junior Vikings Wood leads Episcopal in kills (168) and blocks (43). Classmate Olivia Leinenweber is tops in digs (685) and service receptions (401), while Hannah McCarthy, also a junior, leads in assists (724) and service aces (34).
UP NEXT: The winner will face the Sarasota Cardinal Mooney (24-7)-Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons (21-9) winner for the FHSAA Class 5A state championship on Thursday at 4 p.m. at Suncoast Credit Union Arena in Fort Myers.
PREDICTION: Trinity Catholic in three sets
HIGH SCHOOL SWIMMING
WHAT: FHSAA Class 4A swimming championships
WHERE: Sailfish Splash Waterpark and Aquatics Center in Stuart
LOCAL BOYS PARTICIPANTS: Wesley Hyde, West Port (200 IM, 500 freestyle)
HIGH SCHOOL CROSS COUNTRY
WHAT: FHSAA Cross Country State Championships
WHEN: Saturday, 7:30 a.m. until approximately 11 a.m.
WHERE: Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee
LOCAL CLASS 3A GIRLS: Mykenzee Marshall (19:34.43) led Vanguard to a second-place finish at the Class 3A, Region 2 meet. Teammates Greysun Ledy (20:11.65), Emma Peterson (20:15.02), Julia Charsky (20:34.20), Mariela Cruz-Pagan (20:58.43) and Courtney Cole (21:33.32) each earned top-35 individual finishes.
LOCAL CLASS 3A BOYS: Lewis Benitez-Chaparro ran a 16:23.43 to earn a second-place individual finish and lead Vanguard to a second-place team finish at the Class 3A, Region 2 meet. Teammates Giovanni Rodriguez (16:42.21) and Malachi Sampson (16:59.54) each placed in the top 20, and Belleview’s Adolfo Saucedo (16:44.84) finished 10th, earning him a spot in the field as an individual.
LOCAL CLASS 2A BOY: North Marion’s Laquavian Nevins (17:14.09) finished 16th at the Class 2A, Region 2 meet, but as a runner not on a top-6 team, he advanced as an individual.