The Lake Highland Prep girls’ volleyball team’s bid at a state title fell short.
The Highlanders (23-8) lost in four sets to No. 1 seed Tampa Carrollwood Day (30-2) on Tuesday at Polk State College in a FHSAA Class 3A state semifinal match.
The game scores were 25-14, 20-25, 25-21, 25-15.
“They’re a very solid team,” Highlanders coach Katie Gallagher said of the Patriots, who are rated third best in Florida behind 7A Tampa Plant and 7A Winter Park in the FHSAA power rankings. “They don’t make many errors. That third set, we made a lot of errors that took away the momentum. Momentum is a real thing and limiting our errors was a big part of our strategy going into it. We gave them like 20 points, and they took advantage of it.”
Lake Highland Prep had 27 errors compared to just nine for the Patriots.
Juniors Kiersten Bevelle and Elena Maynulet each had 16 kills for Lake Highland, which made its fourth final four appearance in five seasons. Junior Natalie Harris also had a strong performance with 14 kills.
Defensively, junior Jannelize Perez led the Highlanders with 42 digs.
Freshman Lydia Chinchar led Carrollwood Day with 21 kills and had 23 digs.
Carrollwood extended its win streak to 13 games and will face Miami Westminster Christian (24-8) in Thursday’s 4 p.m. final in Winter Haven. Westminster swept Jacksonville Trinity Christian 25-22, 29-27, 25-17 on Tuesday.
Lake Highland has four seniors graduating with Chatham Connolly, Jennifer Cen, Mia Lange and Alison Goldberg. The Highlanders’ top five players in kills this season were Bevelle, Harris, Maynulet, Kayden Green and sophomore Isa Umpierre.
“It’s a marathon, not a sprint,“ Gallagher said. “It’s about adapting and growing along the way and I think we did a great job of doing that, working together, and we had really big wins and some really great moments this season.”
Orangewood Christian (22-9) lost 25-18, 25-16, 23-25, 25-20 to two-time defending state champ Seacrest Country Day (28-3) of Naples in a Monday 2A semifinal. That marked the third consecutive state semifinal appearance (and loss) for the Rams.
Marissa Forness, one of three Orangewood seniors, had 12 kills in the loss.
Most of Orangewood’s key players return, including Kaleigh Langmo, a ninth grader who had six kills and three ace serves. Sydney Recca, a junior, added six kills and sophomore Caroline Vargas had seven blocks.
Langmo’s mother, Diane, is set to enter her 34th year as Orangewood coach next fall with three daughters in the lineup.
Seacrest played top seed Boca Raton Christian (27-3) in the state final Tuesday night.
On Friday, Bishop Moore (22-8) plays Bishop Kenny (23-7) in a 10 a.m. Class 4A semifinal and area No. 1 Winter Park (28-2) plays Jupiter (25-3) in a 4 p.m. 7A semifinal. The championship matches in those classifications are Saturday.
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