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Volleyball preview: No. 18 Sunlake

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Sunlake

At a glance

Coach: Elyse Garcia

Class: 6A, District 5

Last season: 13-4, lost in region quarterfinals

Key players: MH/OH Kylie Ciani, Sr.; DS Johanna Dittman, Sr.; S/DS Maryanne Lugo, Jr.; MH/OH Zoe Van Putten, So.; MH/OH Alice Stryker, Jr.; 

Schedule

Aug. 24 vs. Pasco, 7

Aug. 31 at Wiregrass Ranch, 7:30

Sept. 2 at Gulf, 7

Sept. 9 at Mitchell, 7

Sept. 14 at Land O’ Lakes, 7:30

Sept. 16 vs. Cypress Creek, 7

Sept. 21 at Zephyrhills, 7:30

Sept. 24-25 at Fivay Tournament

Sept. 30 at Fivay, 7

Oct. 5 vs. Anclote, 7

Oct. 7 vs. Wesley Chapel, 7:30

Oct. 12 vs. Zephyrhills, 7:30

Outlook

The Seahawks were the Class 6A, District 7 runnerup last season. They are now in 6A-5, a district that no longer includes East Lake, the team that beat Sunlake in last year’s district final. The biggest task for the Seahawks is replacing Brette Heymann, who had 191 kills and 186 digs last season and was a first-team selection in the East Division of the Sunshine Athletic Conference. There still is plenty of experience in the lineup with nearly everyone else returning. The top offensive threat is Kylie Ciani, who had a team-leading 218 kills and 67 blocks last season. Two newcomers, Kendyl Okin and Zayda Thomas, could be key contributors as middle blockers. 

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Volleyball

Monday sports schedule

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What to watch

Volleyball

Bloomingdale (8-4) at Sickles (10-8), 7:30

The Bulls enter on a two-match win streak while the host Gryphons are coming off a 2-3 record at the Fivay Invitational this past weekend. 

Weeki Wachee (11-3) at Bishop McLaughlin (10-4), 7:30

The Hornets wanted tough matches like this one on their schedule after playing mostly against teams from Hernando and Citrus counties a year ago. It will not be easy facing the Class 3A defending state semifinalist Hurricanes. 

Plant City (6-3) at Wharton (9-6), 7:30

The Raiders are starting to find their groove after sweeping Sumner and Brandon last week. The host Wildcats, meanwhile, are trying to bounce back after going 1-3 at the Academy of the Holy Names Invitational this past weekend. 

The schedules

Volleyball

Central Baptist at Community Christian, 4:30

Tampa Catholic at Carrollwood Day, 5

Elfers Christian at Faith Outreach, 5

Lakeside Christian at Canterbury, 5

Cambridge Christian at Brandon Academy, 5

Inverness Christian at Oldsmar Christian, 5:30

Seven Rivers Christian at Classical Prep, 6

North Tampa Christian at Hernando Christian, 6

Lakeland Christian at Seffner Christian, 6

Academy at the Lakes at Winthrop College, 6

Bradenton Saint Stephen’s at Tampa SLAM, 6

Boca Ciega at Admiral Farragut, 6

Lakewood at Pinellas Park, 7

Armwood at Riverview, 7

Bloomingdale at Sickles, 7:30

Weeki Wachee at Bishop McLaughlin, 7:30

Plant City at Wharton, 7:30

Strawberry Crest at East Bay, 7:30

Hillsborough at Newsome, 7:30

Northeast at Dunedin, 7:30

Sumner at King, 7:30 

Golf

Sumner at Lennard (boys), 2

Newsome at Strawberry Crest (boys/girls), 2

Chamberlain, Freedom at Brandon (boys/girls), 2

Gaither at Jefferson (boys) 2:30

East Bay at Armwood (boys), 3

Durant at Plant (boys), 3

Bloomingdale at Robinson (boys), 3:30

Alonso at Mitchell (boys), 4

PCAC championship at Bardmoor (boys)

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Volleyball

Volleyball Player of the Week

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Here are the nominees for the volleyball player of the week. Voting lasts until 9 a.m. Tuesday. 

L Brooke Arnold, Sr., Riverview: Recorded a combined 54 digs in the Sharks’ last four matches and helped the team stretch its win streak to eight

S Bella Baldyga, Sr., Mitchell: Finished with 19 assists, seven assists and four service aces in a win over Fivay to help the Mustangs stay undefeated through their first nine matches. 

OH Bailey Higgins, So., Berkeley Prep: Selected to the all-tournament team at the Berkeley Premier after helping the Buccaneers win the tournament, then knock off Plant in five sets this past week. 

OH Sydney Jackwin, Sr., Keswick Christian: Named MVP after leading the Crusaders to the team title of their own tournament, as well as a five-set victory over St. Petersburg this past week.  

S/L Taylor Parks, So., Calvary Christian: Was named the American Volleyball Coaches Association state player of the week after leading the Warriors to a runnerup finish at the Berkeley Premier.  

S Sydney Waldenmyer, Sr., Land O’ Lakes: Had a combined 38 assists and 18 digs in wins over Cypress Creek and Sickles this past week. 

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Volleyball

Friday sports schedule (Sept. 24)

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The schedules

Volleyball

Fivay Invitational (compiled from MaxPreps)

Wiregrass Ranch vs. Mitchell, 1

Anclote vs. Sickles, 2

Lecanto vs. Mitchell, 3

Sunlake vs. Palm Harbor University, 3

Nature Coast vs. Anclote, 3

Fivay vs. Sickles, 4

River Ridge vs. Palm Harbor University, 4:30

Wesley Chapel vs. Mitchell, 6

Nature Coast vs. Sickles, 6

Hudson vs. Palm Harbor University, 6

Academy of the Holy Names Tournament (compiled from MaxPreps)

Carrollwood Day vs. Tampa Prep, 4:30

Keswick Christian vs. Academy of the Holy Names, 4:30

Wharton vs. Newsome, 5:45

Robinson vs. Academy of the Holy Names, 7

Wharton vs. Tampa Prep, 7

Carrollwood Day vs. Newsome, 8:15

Warrior Invitational (compiled from MaxPreps)

Calvary Christian vs. St. Petersburg, 3

Brooks DeBartolo vs. Calvary Christian, 4

Osceola vs. East Lake, 4

East Lake vs. St. Petersburg, 5

Berkeley Prep vs. Calvary Christian, 5

Other matches

St. Petersburg Catholic at Shorecrest, 6

Clearwater Academy at Northside Christian, 6

Patel at Zephyrhills, 6:30

Countryside at Dunedin, 7:30

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