Roberts Leads Blue Devils to 6A-9 Volleyball Title
Thu. October 25, 2012 at 11:00 p.m. | By Polk Preps Staff
By DEL MILLIGAN
LAKELAND | Senior Katora Roberts came through with momentum-swinging kills to lead Winter Haven past Lake Gibson for the Class 6A-District 9 championship in girls high school volleyball on Thursday night at Kathleen High School.
The 6-foot Roberts registered 23 kills for Winter Haven, 19-4 and undefeated in the district.
"That's probably the highest kills percentage we've had all season, but we needed her to because Lake Gibson played a very good game,'' Winter Haven coach Derrick Bennett said.
Lake Gibson coach Meg Sasser was impressed with Roberts.
"Katora, man, she's big. And she knows how to put the ball away,'' Sasser said. "But we fought hard.''
Winter Haven lost the first game in the best-of-five match, 20-25. But the Blue Devils took control, winning the final three games 25-18, 25-17 and 27-25.
Winter Haven advanced to the regionals for the third year in a row, repeating as district champions.
Winter Haven takes on the winner of Thursday's Tarpon Springs-New Port Richey Mitchell match in the regional quarterfinals on Tuesday at home at 7 p.m.
Lake Gibson (14-6) also advanced in the postseason for the first time since 2006 and will play the loser of that match on the road Tuesday night.
Kari Hopkins led the Braves with 15 kills, many of them set up by Brittany Gerst, who had 30 assists.
Megan Piatnik played a key role for Winter Haven with eight kills and eight digs. Setter Ali Mann had a team-high 28 assists, 11 digs and a service ace, while Madison Speyerer added 16 assists, five digs and an ace. Katie Baumbach led the team in digs with 23. Jessica Dills had 10 digs and four kills.
For Lake Gibson, Danielle Webb added 10 digs, while Emily Zelenka and Brittany Burdette had nine digs each.