Volleyball: The Tampa Bay Area Report — Sept. 18, 2023

Take a look back at the tournaments from this past weekend, then look ahead at a match to watch tonight, along with the county schedules. 

In the news

Keswick Christian win its own tournament

The start of this season was not exactly what Keswick Christian envisioned. 

The Crusaders opened with three straight losses, one less than they had all of last season when they reached the region final. 

But not all was lost. 

Those matches came against brutally tough competition, including matchups against defending Class 4A state finalist Academy of the Holy Names and 2021 3A state champion Calvary Christian. 

Being tested so early paid off. 

Keswick Christian, which had to replace five players who graduated, bounced back, winning eight straight heading into the tournament the school hosted this past weekend. 

The streak continued with the Crusaders going undefeated to take home the team title in the gold bracket of the Keswick Christian Invitational. 

“We knew we would have some growing pains with new additions from our junior varsity, and the return of Camille Holloway, but I knew this group of athletes had potential,” Crusaders coach Dan Zomermaand said. 

Of the five victories, all via sweeps, the biggest ones came against Gainesville Oak Hall in the semifinals and Mitchell in the final. 

Keswick Christian’s Camille Holloway was named MVP and teammates Hannah Jantomaso and Isabel Brenes-Laroche were selected to the all-tournament team.

The Crusaders have been dominant during its current 13-match win streak, dropping just one set in that span. 

“Our schedule was tough the first week, with Academy of Holy Names, Tampa Catholic and Calvary. After that we were able to really come together and gel as a team,” Zomermaand said. “The communication and cohesiveness has been great and each of the girls have played so consistently.”

Maintaining the streak, though, will be a challenge with a matchup against defending 3A state Clearwater Central Catholic on Tuesday. 

Keswick Christian All-Tournament Team

MVP: Camille Holloway, Keswick Christian

Bayshore Christian: Olivia Capra; Cambridge Christian: Adrian Black; Indian Rocks Christian: Olivia Anderson; Keswick Christian: Hannah Jantomaso, Isabel Brenes-Laroche; Largo: Megan Pace;  Mitchell: Taryn Newton, Mackenna Lofthouse; Northside Christian: Elle Smith, Taylor Zook; Northeast: Alexis Baum, Ripley Brown; Oak Hall: Ave Scorpio, Cassidy McDonald. 

Berkeley Prep win premier tournament

After losing two of three matches. Berkeley Prep was looking to bounce back this weekend when it hosted its annual premier tournament. 

The Buccaneers did just that, going undefeated with sweeps over Steinbrenner, Sickles, Bradenton Christian and Newsome. 

What to watch tonight

Plant (9-2) at Clearwater Central Catholic (6-4), 6:30

A premier matchup between teams that have each won a state title in the past two years. The Panthers have won four straight matches, including victories over Miami Westminster Christian and Ocala Trinity Catholic. The Marauders are coming off an impressive four-set win over Academy of the Holy Names.

Tonight’s county schedules

Plant at Clearwater Central Catholic, 6:30

Hillsborough County

Brandon Academy at Pepin Academy, 4:15

Winthrop College Prep at Four Corners, 6

Lakeland Christian at Brooks DeBartolo, 6

North Tampa Christian at Seffner Christian, 6:30

Plant at Clearwater Central Catholic, 6:30

Durant at Wiregrass Ranch, 7

King at Chamberlain, 7:30

Robinson at Strawberry Crest, 7:30

Lennard at Leto, 7:30

Pasco County

Clearwater Academy at Zephyrhills Christian, 5:30

Academy at the Lakes at Zephyrhills, 6

Wesley Chapel at Gulf, 7

Durant at Wiregrass Ranch, 7

Pinellas County

Clearwater Academy at Zephyrhills Christian, 5:30

Bradenton Southeast at Admiral Farragut, 6

Plant at Clearwater Central Catholic, 6:30

Gibbs at Osceola, 7:30

Countryside at Palm Harbor University, 7:30

Seminole at Tarpon Springs, 7:30