Jenkins, Lakeland Advance to Rematch
Wed. November 02, 2011 at 4:00 a.m. | By B.J. Pitzen
By B.J. PITZEN
LAKELAND | Rematch set! Dreadnaughts versus Eagles -- again.
George Jenkins, still riding high after its Class 7A, District 7 victory over Lakeland last Thursday, forced Plant City out of the Eagles' gym in three lopsided games during a Class 7A regional quarterfinal match.
Eagles' coach Lisa Bickerton guided her team to a 25-10 win in the first game and 25-14 in the last two games. At one point in the second game, Jenkins scored 12 unanswered points, which allowed Bickerton to play most of her bench.
"We really have to push ourselves against teams that we get an early lead on," Bickerton said. "Plant City had strong, scrappy hitters. Overall, this was a good step toward our regional semi-final."
Junior outside hitter Kayla Monsanto, who set the tone with a kill to start the match, racked up nine spikes to boost the Jenkins kill total. According to Monsanto, the communication on the floor, blocking, hitting and defense were encouraging but the Eagles' intensity could have been better.
"I don't think we played to the best of our ability, but a win is a win and we moved on," Monsanto said. "We need to always play at a level that we're at. With the bigger games coming up we need to play above our competition."
Libero Kacy Scarpa added 16 digs and displayed senior leadership on the court for the Eagles by opening up communication lines amongst her teammates.
"Sometimes our team has trouble communicating together, so I think it's important that we have someone talking all the time just to keep everyone on their toes," Scarpa said. "Sometimes when we get down, we stop talking. This year being a captain and one of the three seniors, I've taken a leadership role. I'm proud of the people that stepped in from the bench and kept the level the same. We're still on a high from the LHS game so we're going to try to keep it going."
Middle hitter Kaitlin Boyd contributed two stuffed blocks and three kills while setter Tara Lassi made 18 assists for Jenkins. Weakside hitter Karla Thiele and middle hitter Erin Wibert each had four kills for the Eagles.
Jesse Scarpa ended the match with a kill for George Jenkins.
"Lakeland has three strong hitters and strong serving," Bickerton said. "We equal out Lakeland so you know it's going to be an exciting game. It could be one or the other and it depends on who's showing up to play."
Lakeland 3, Tampa Riverview 2
RIVERVIEW | Lakeland edged past Tampa Riverview 3-2 in the regional quarterfinal match to advance to the regional semifinals against George Jenkins.
Lakeland lost the first set 18-25 but battled back to win the next two 25-13 and 27-25. The suspense built as the Dreadnauhgts dropped the fourth game 19-25 leading to a decisive victory in the fifth by a margin of three points with a 15-12 win.
"I think that Riverview is a great team," Lakeland head coach Crystal Ramsey said. "We fought hard and we were fortunate enough to finish on top."
Rachel Martin led the way for the Dreadnaughts with 25 kills and 12 digs. Setter Alex Taylor nearly matched a season high in assists with 43. Kali Boatwright added 18 kills and 20 digs. Lakeland will play at George Jenkins next Tuesday in the Regional semi-final match at 7 p.m.