Prep Volleyball: Blue Devils Stand Tall Against Mitchell
Thu. November 03, 2011 at 4:15 a.m. | By Polk Preps Staff
WINTER HAVEN'S Katie Baumbach attempts to block a return by Mitchell's Lyndsey Lane . (Photo by PAUL CRATE | NYTRMG )
By Mike Akins
WINTER HAVEN | The Winter Haven Blue Devils used their height to post a 25-17, 25-22, 25-19 victory over Mitchell High School in a Class 6A regional quarterfinal at Jack Deedrick Gymnasium Wednesday night.
With the victory, the Blue Devils (21-6) advance to the regional semifinals for the first time since 1998 where they will host the winner of Sebring and Tarpon Springs on Tuesday. Mitchell ends its season at 16-10.
After five lead changes in the first game, the Blue Devils used eight service points by setter Ali Mann to build as much as a 10-point lead. Jakerria Mathis finished the game with a kill that just got over the net. Mann also served to start the match.
"The girls came out fired up tonight," Blue Devils coach Tonya Wooten said. "They fought together as a team, communicated well as a team."
In the last two games, the Blue Devils used the play of 6-foot-2 middle hitter Katora Roberts, whose height allowed her to block numerous shots. She also had 12 of her team-high 18 kills in the last two games.
"She (Roberts) played the last two games like she was on a mission," Wooten said. "I like the way the team is playing right now, but if we hope to advance, our communication could be better.
Whenever the Blue Devils needed a big point, the 6-3 Ashley Dills was the one who delivered as she had six block points to go along with her 12 kills and 20 digs.
"We were trying to match them kill for kill but we could not sustain it," Mustangs coach Keith Paulk said. "We didn't have the height to play with them for a full match."
Alicia Burton had 20 digs for the victors and Mann dished out 15 assists.
Sandra Jozic led Mitchell with 10 kills and five digs.