Venice, Port Charlotte, Cardinal Mooney all hit the road in search of a trip to state final

VOLLEYBALL STATE SEMIFINALS


Matches Saturday


CLASS 6A


Venice Indians (17-12) at Tallahassee Leon Lions (27-3), 3 p.m.


Of note: Venice has won five straight matches. … The Indians are ranked 23rd in the state according to MaxPreps. … Venice’s RPI ranking is 36th overall. … The Indians have won five state titles under Coach Brian Wheatley: 1998, 2005, 2012, 2014 and 2017. ... Leon is ranked first in the state and eighth nationally by MaxPreps and first in RPI in the state. … The Lions’ three losses are to Ocala Trinity Catholic, Laguna Beach and Oviedo Hagerty. … Leon also has a five-match win streak. … Venice defeated Leon in four sets in for the 2017 state championship in Jacksonville. … Leon won its only state title in 2011, defeating Fort Myers. … The winner plays the winner of the match between Winter Springs and Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas for the 6A state title at 5 p.m. Nov. 15 in Fort Myers.


CLASS 5A


Port Charlotte Pirates (17-12) at Ponte Vedra Sharks (23-6), 2 p.m.


Of note: The Pirates have won six straight. … Port Charlotte last reached the State Final 4 in 1988, losing to Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons in the championship match in Orlando. … It was the only time Port Charlotte reached the state final. … The Pirates also played in the Final 4 in 1987, falling to Cardinal Gibbons in the state semis. … Port Charlotte will be on the road for the first time in the postseason. … The Pirates are ranked 37th in the state and 50 in RPI. … Ponte Vedra won the state title in 2017 by defeating Orlando Bishop Moore and was the runners-up in 2016, losing to Bishop Moore in the final. … The Sharks have won seven straight without dropping a set. … Ponte Vedra is ranked No. 17 by MaxPreps and 18th in RPI. … The winner plays the winner of the match between Ocala Vanguard and Naples Barron Collier at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 16 in Fort Myers.


CLASS 3A


Cardinal Mooney Cougars (20-10) at Ocala Trinity Catholic Celtics (23-6), 2 p.m.


Of note: Cardinal Mooney won the regional title for the second straight season defeating Clearwater Calvary Christian for its fifth straight win, all sweeps. … The Cougars were the state runners-up last year, losing to Trinity Catholic in the final in five sets after taking a 2-0 lead. … The Cougars rank eighth in MaxPreps in the state, 42nd in the nation and 11th in RPI. …The Celtics needed five sets to defeat Florida State University High, 15-11 in the fifth set, in the regional final. … Cardinal Mooney defeated Trinity Catholic, 2-1, in the Nike Tournament of Champions in Phoenix earlier this year. … It was the Celtics’ most recent loss, as they have reeled off eight straight victories, including wins over Fort Myers and Venice. … Trinity Catholic is sixth in the state and 37th in the country, as per MaxPreps, and seventh in RPI. … The winner plays the winner of the match between Palm Beach Gardens Benjamin and Miami Westminster Christian for the Class 3A championship at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 16 in Fort Myers.