Lady Panthers roll to sixth district title

By Randy Lefko Sports Editor
Posted 10/21/20

JACKSONVILLE - The Ridgeview High Lady Panthers volleyball team took to their district 3-5A semifinal matchup with Middleburg as the de facto championship game as the seeds were determined by a blind …

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Lady Panthers roll to sixth district title

Posted

JACKSONVILLE - The Ridgeview High Lady Panthers volleyball team took to their district 3-5A semifinal matchup with Middleburg as the de facto championship game as the seeds were determined by a blind draw rather team records.

Ridgeview, at 13-9, battled with Middleburg, also 13-9, in the Tuesday semifinal to a 3-2 semifinal win with the game playing out as exciting as the first match of the two teams on September 29, also a 3-2 win.

In match two, the Panthers were without junior Teeya Desgoutte, who was sitting on the bench with a boot on her ankle.

Matchup one was a feature match between hitters Jenna Sypniewski for the Broncos and Elaina Reynolds of Ridgeview who combined for 33 kills between them.

In Matchup two, Reynolds again topped the attack with 19 scoring smashes, but freshman teammate Haley Robinson became the X-factor with her 15 kills adding to the Panther arsenal.

Sypniewski was less effective in kill totals with just 13, but had help from senior Shelby McKinney’s 11 and junior Josie Bemis’ 10, but it was enough.

Middleburg won game one 26-24 in a game that stayed within one or two points as both teams refused to blink. In the final overtime point, McKinney’s kill shot was aided by Reynolds getting tangled in the net.

Ridgeview rebounded to win game two 25-15 with the Panthers pulling away to a 17-12 with a serving run by Kasey Casiple fueling a 8-0 run and a Middleburg time out to cool the jets.

In game three, Ridgeview looked to make the Broncos wilt with a 25-21 win.

Game four, though, as Bemis piled on with her own eight point surge to a 24-14 lead to a 25-16 win to put the match into the 15 point overtime.

Game five saw Reynolds push the Panthers to a 4-1 early lead, but McKinney found her spot to smother two kill shots on Tamin Trott for Ridgeview and swing the momentum.

McKinney was twice effective at the net with a tipped point over the Panther blocking of London Francis and Robinson with Zoe Whaley getting some defensive touches. Whaley nailed a set from Abigail Tennant that seemed to break the backs of the Bronco defense and swing the momentum back to the Panthers.

At 11-9, Ridgeview held the gap with Reynolds playing possum at the net with a soft tip over the net to 13-10 and Whaley covering a smash attempt by McKinney to end the game.

Orange Park surprised Stanton in their semifinal to get a finals’ match with Ridgeview that Ridgeview won 3-0.

In other districts, Fleming Island (14-7) succumbed to Creekside 3-1 in the 3-7A final, St. Johns lost an excruciatingly close match with Christ’s Church in the 2-3A final 3-2 for the Lady Spartans first loss of the season, Keystone Heights lost to Baker County 3-0 in the 3-4A semifinal and Clay lost 3-0 to Ponte Vedra in the district 4-5A semifinal.

Oakleaf lost to Mandarin in the 2-8A semifinal

In region openers, Ridgeview will host Daytona Beach Seabreeze on Wed., Oct. 21 for the only home game on the docket.

On Wed., Oct. 21, Orange Park (7-13) will travel to unbeaten Ponte Vedra (22-0), Fleming Island (14-7) travels to unbeaten Leon (7-0) and St. Johns (15-1) travels to St. Johns Lutheran (Ocala) (14-5).

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