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Volleyball preview: No. 1 Bishop McLaughlin

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Bishop McLaughlin

At a glance

Coach: Doug Chinchar

Class: 3A, District 5

Last season: 24-3, lost in state semifinals

Key players: S Naomi Chinchar, So.; OH Maddie Snider, Jr.; MH Ezzie Thompson, Jr.; OH Ali Waldon, Jr.; 

Schedule

Aug. 25 d. Fivay 3-0

Sept. 3-4 Nike Tournament of Champions (Orlando)

Sept. 10-11 at Bishop McLaughlin Tournament

Sept. 21 vs. Academy of the Holy Names, 6:30

Sept. 23 vs. Tampa Bay HEAT, 4:30

Oct. 1-2 Nike Tournament of Champions (Phoenix)

Oct. 5 vs. Calvary Christian, 5

Oct. 7 at Carrollwood Day, 4:30

Outlook

In the past four seasons, the Hurricanes are a combined 93-14 and have established themselves as consistent state title contenders. The biggest loss was Audrey Koenig, the Prime Time Preps’ Pasco County player of the year who graduated and is now playing at FSU. Though her departure hurts, there was no sense of doom among this program. Forget rebuilding. Bishop McLaughlin simply reloaded. There are plenty of returners, led by FSU commit Maddie Snider (269 kills, 41 blocks last season) and Mercer commit Ali Waldon (94 kills, 85 digs). The list does not end there. Ezzie Thompson (102 kills, 54 blocks) can be a force at the net and setter Noami Chinchar (738 assists) ranks among the best in the state. Two newcomers — middle blocker Lorelei Church and libero Lola Buck-Taylor — give the Hurricanes enough firepower to offset any losses. Bishop McLaughlin started the season with a sweep over defending region finalist Fivay. Most of the schedule is filled with national tournaments to get ready for the postseason.    

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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