Volleyball: Class 6A region quarterfinal breakdown

2020 FHSAA Volleyball State Championships 6A FHSAA Girls Volleyball

The matchups

Region 2

Pinellas Park (8-4) at East Lake (18-8)

The Patriots, who won a combined two matches from 2016-17, have gone through a remarkable turnaround to make the playoffs. They are led by sophomore Ashlyn Going and senior Qniyah Swanigan. The Eagles, which made the region quarterfinals last season, are back in the playoffs after winning the District 7 title. Olivia Aniol leads East Lake in kills (272) and blocks (98). 

Sunlake (13-3) at St. Petersburg (12-3)

This is a rematch of last year’s region quarterfinal match the Green Devils swept in three sets. The Seahawks, who started the season 9-0, have lost three of their last seven matches. They will rely on junior Kylie Ciani (team-high 208 kills and 50 blocks) and senior Brette Haymann (team-high 177 kills and 29 aces) to get back on track. St. Petersburg, which reached the region semifinals last season, will host after winning the District 8 title. Nicole Robison leads the Green Devils in digs (230) and aces (25). 

Region 3

Armwood (3-10) at Hillsborough (13-1)

The Terriers swept the only regular season meeting (25-9, 25-12, 25-15) between the programs this season. The Hawks, who had won just three matches during the regular season, had the No. 1 seed in District 10 based on a blind draw and received a bye in the semifinals to automatically qualify for the playoffs. The Terriers come in with some momentum after winning four straight matches, including the District 9 final.   

Leto (10-5) at Plant City (12-2)

The Falcons have gone through a remarkable transformation. After going a combined 1-38 from 2016-18, Leto showed considerable improvement by winning eight matches last season and now boasts a winning record and a playoff berth. A big reason for the success has been the play of sophomore Sage Sharp, who leads the Falcons in kills (95) and blocks (70). The Raiders ended a 40-year title drought by sweeping Armwood in the District 10 final. Plant City has a balanced lineup, so much that five different players lead the team in each of the major statistical categories. Mallory Smith, a junior, has been the biggest go-to player on offense with 110 kills while fellow junior Bailey Blanton is a force at the net with 21 blocks.