6A-3 - Mitchell wins thriller over Osceola
TRINITY — Continuing its best season in program history, Mitchell clinched its first region final berth, holding on to win a thrilling, and exhausting, five-game match against district foe Seminole Osceola (23-25, 25-21, 27-25, 20-25, 15-7).
The Mustangs (24-5), who have won 20 straight, will host Venice on Saturday in the 6A-Region 3 final.
“It's a great honor, but its been a team effort,” said Mitchell senior outside hitter Ryleigh Hill, who had 16 digs in Game 2. “We needed endurance and focus because there were a lot of long rallies, but we got this because we really wanted this.”
Mitchell was led by senior Daniele Green, who had 13 kills, while Kayla Widera had a match-winning kill in Game 5, plus a game-winning block in the extended Game 3 that saw numerous lead changes. The Warriors (14-10) saw senior outside hitter Emily Barton have a game-high 21 kills, including leading the way for a 7-0 rally in Game 3.
The Mustangs have now beaten Osceola four times this season, while three of the matches have gone to Game 5. Mitchell benefited from many Warrior forced errors in Tuesday's final set.
“I was hoping it would be like the King game (last week),” Barton said. “There are times were we seem like we can play with or beat anyone and then we face Mitchell. We lost communication, just like every other time we've met.”
5A-3 - Fivay gets past Anclote
HUDSON - The goal that Fivay set back in the summer months has been reached.
Well, almost. The Falcons' priority a few months ago was to make a consecutive region final appearance, but Fivay is also looking to advance to the state semifinals. Fivay is one step closer, as the Falcons needed late rallies to sweep district rival Anclote in straight sets 26-24, 25-22, 26-24 in a Class 5A-Region 3 semifinal.
“Anclote is a really tough opponent and they know us very well,” Fivay coach Nikki Pollock said. “I told the girls to stay in the game and play our game. Give credit to my team, they just do not give up.”
Fivay (24-6) had a seemingly comfortable 19-12 lead in the first set, but Anclote (22-8) rallied to eventually tie the set up at 21 and even took a brief 23-21 advantage. After a timeout, Fivay was able to regain momentum and aided by a couple key kills from sisters Ashleigh (15 kills) and Briannah Nemetz (13 kills), the Falcons were able to come away with a 26-24 win.
The second and third sets featured much of the same back-and-forth action, but Anclote led for most of the matches except for when it counted most toward the end.
“We just have to keep working hard as a team and hopefully that'll bring us to the final four,” Ashleigh Nemetz said.