Volleyball preview: No. 24 Plant City

Plant City

At a glance

Coach: Jazlyn Vereen

Class: 7A, District 6

Last season: 13-3, lost in region semifinals

Key players: RS/S Bailey Blanton, Sr.; RS/S Eva Oyola, Sr.; OH Mallory Smith, Sr. 


Aug. 26 at King, 7

Aug. 30 vs. Robinson, 7

Aug. 31 vs. Newsome, 7:30

Sept. 2 vs. Bloomingdale, 7:30

Sept. 9 at Riverview, 7:30

Sept. 14 vs. Spoto, 7:30

Sept. 20 vs. Sickles, 7

Sept. 21 at Sumner, 7:30

Sept. 23 vs. Brandon, 7:30

Sept. 27 at Wharton, 7:30

Sept. 30 at Durant, 7:30

Oct. 7 vs. East Bay, 7:30

Oct. 11 at Lennard, 7:30


The Raiders ended a 40-year title drought by sweeping Armwood in last year’s District 10 final. Plant City had a balanced lineup, so much that five different players led the team in each of the major statistical categories. Some of that balance is gone after losing five players to graduation. The coaching staff is new, too. Jazlyn Vereen takes over for Sara Tooman, Another challenge is the district. The Raiders are now in Class 7A-6, which includes Riverview and Newsome, the two teams Plant City lost to in the regular season last season. Still, the Raiders should be contenders for the postseason thanks to a trio of seniors — Mallory Smith, (team-high 145 kills last season), Bailey Blanton (team-high 22 blocks) and Eva Oyola (team-high 225 assists) — who will be the leaders this season. .