JP2, Leon & Florida High Advance to Regional Semifinals

By: Elton Gumbel Email
By: Elton Gumbel Email

The FHSAA State Volleyball Tournament continued Wednesday night throughout Florida with more Regional Quarterfinals action.

The Rickards Lady Raiders made it to Quarterfinals action for the first time in 23 years, but fell in straight sets on the Class 3A road. Rickards lost 3-0 at Pensacola Catholic (25-9), (25-12), (25-4).

Lincoln also spiked into the Class 5A road Wednesday night in a heated Regional Quarterfinals battle at Buchholz in Gainesville, FL. Despite a competitive 3rd set, the Lady Trojans lost in straight sets to Buchholz. The victory went to Buchholz (25-13), (25-12), (25-22).

Other local teams faired much better on their homecourts... Florida High won their first Class 3A Regional Quarterfinals match with new coach Larry Sparkman at the helm. Sparkman took JP2 to the Class 1A State Semifinals in 2009. This year, he led the Lady Noles to a straight sets victory over Panama City Arnold (25-19), (25-23), (25-19).

His former team, JP2 defended their homecourt as well. The Lady Panthers of John Paul II Catholic School defeated Milton Central in straight sets. JP2 sits just 2 wins away from a 2nd straight trip to State.

Elsewhere, the Leon Lions found a 4-set victory Wednesday night over Gainesville High. The Lady Lions and first year head coach Angie Strickland defeated Gainesville (26-28), (25-11), (25-18), (29-27).

Overall, the Big Bend's surviving teams headed to the Regional Semifinals on November 9th in their respective classifications include:

Class 5A:
Leon at F.W. Buchholz

Class 4A:
Gulf Breeze at Wakulla

Class 3A:
Pensacola-Catholic at Florida High

Class 2A:
Baker at Sneads
Liberty County at Maclay

Class 1A:
Rocky Bayou at John Paul II (JP2)

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