JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Nationally ranked Ponte Vedra and perennial power Bishop Kenny are headed to the volleyball state semifinals.
The Sharks swept visiting Crawfordville Wakulla, 25-12, 25-20, 25-18 on Saturday in the Region 1-5A final and advanced to a Nov. 7 game against Ocala Vanagurd in a rematch of last year’s state championship. Ponte Vedra hasn’t lost a match in more than a year and has won all but one of its final 34 matches by sweep.
Amy Burkhardt had 13 kills, with Kyle Mignerey and Rachel Johnson adding seven apiece for Ponte Vedra. Lily Zeras was tops in digs (16) and Jessica Shattles had 33 assists for the Sharks. Ponte Vedra has been untouchable for more than a year. The Sharks have won 34 consecutive matches dating back to last season (their last loss was Oct. 12, 2019 to Lyman) as well as the 5A state championship.
Alongside Ponte Vedra at the next top will be Bishop Kenny, the area’s volleyball headliner for years running. The Crusaders bounced Santa Fe in a thriller, a 25-13, 18-25, 24-26, 25-22, 15-11 slugfest in Region 1-4A.
It marks the 19th time in 25 playoff trips that the Crusaders have reached the fourth round of the postseason. Kenny has won a pair of state titles, its first in 1999 and last in 2014.
The Crusaders will face Tampa’s Academy of the Holy Names (18-8) on Nov. 7 at 2 p.m.
Bartram Trail’s season ended with a 25-12, 25-9, 25-17 loss to nationally ranked Longwood Lyman on Saturday. Lyman is 27-1 and the No. 10 team in the country, according to MaxPreps. Bartram’s season ends at 14-8. It was just the fourth time in the Bears' 21 seasons of play that they reached the third round of the playoffs.
Christ’s Church came close but the Eagles came up short in a marathon 3-2 regional final loss to St. John Paul II. The Eagles dropped a 25-14, 21-25, 21-25, 25-15, 20-18 slugfest on the road. Christ’s Church, a state champion in 2017, ended its season at 13-7.
Union County’s season a step short of the state semifinals, dropping a 25-16, 25-19, 26-24 match to Bell. The Tigers' season ended at 12-10.