All Saints Continues Historic Run to Regional Volleyball Final
Tue. November 06, 2012 at 11:42 p.m. | By Polk Preps Staff
ALL SAINTS' Academy's Taylor Ashcrafte_SNbSdelivers a spike against Victory Christian during the Saints' win on Tuesday. All Saints advanced to the 2A region final. (Photo by PAUL CRATE | LEDGER MEDIA GROUP )
BY LISA COFFEY
WINTER HAVEN | History will continue to march forward for All Saints' Academy.
The Saints (18-10) defeated rival Victory Christian Tuesday 25-16, 25-13, 25-22 at home in the Class 2A Regional semifinals.
The victory pushes them further into the FHSAA playoffs than they have gone in the school's existence.
"Regional finals is pretty exciting," All Saints coach Bruce Guth said. "Top eight in the state is awesome."
The Saints will meet Foundation Academy of Winter Garden Saturday.
"We need to keep doing everything we've been doing," Guth said. "If we execute all the basic fundamentals, we'll be able to do fine."
The Storm (16-3) closed out a season in which they also played deeper into the playoffs than ever before under first-year head coach Melody Tenney.
"I'm so proud of them," Tenney said. "We had four returners and a new coach. We all learned together. I'm very proud of how far we've come. We've grown so much as a team."
The two teams knew each other well, having played each other in the district finals.
It was the Saints who appeared more comfortable during the match than the Storm.
"We focused on the very basics," Guth said. "Monday we worked on serve receive, good passes to execute, good communication on the floor and knowing where we need to be on defensive base."
The Saints were able to play loose, starting the first set with a 5-1 lead. They pushed it out to 9-2 and stretched the advantage to 21-11 as they got warmed up.
Saints freshman Taylor Ashcraft appeared ready at the start with two kills in a row early in the set. Ashcraft finished the match with 15 kills, four digs and an ace.
"We knew she was their best player," Tenney said. "She definitely didn't do as much as last time. We did much better defending her this time."
The Saints also pulled away in the second game 13-3 before the Storm closed the gap 16-9 with kills by Emily Carson, Destinee Pierce and Jessica Drewery.
Three kills by Ashcraft closed out the second set.
The Storm made it close in the third set, taking an 18-15 lead as Brittany Nelson blocked Ashcraft.
"They were getting a little frustrated," Guth said of his team.
He called a time out and told the Saints to forget about the last point and get ready for the next one.
All Saints rallied back with errors by the Storm and an ace by Anna Holt for a 19-18 lead.
Ashcraft took care of the attack with four kills to close it out.
"They had good chemistry out there," Guth said. "We knew it wasn't going to be a cakewalk."
"Our biggest problem was our mental game," Tenney said. "We are very up and down. This is our first time in this kind of position."
Carson tallied four kills for Victory. Nelson recorded six kills. Destinee Pierce posted five kills. Carey Jenkins posted 21 assists.
All Saints' Holt contributed seven digs, six aces and three kills. Tchele Thomas registered 11 assists.