Buchholz volleyball sweeps into semifinals

Buchholz middle blocker Oliva Reed (3) and outside hitter Caroline Redmond (7) block the shot of Fletcher hitter Susan West (14) during their regional quarterfinal playoff match on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011, in Gainesville, Fla. Buchholz defeated Fletcher in three games.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer
Published: Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 2, 2011 at 12:14 a.m.

For the top-ranked Buchholz Bobcats, the Class 7A state volleyball tournament breaks very favorably on the road to the final four.

That road could run right through Bud Seymour Gymnasium.

Buchholz dominated Neptune Beach Fletcher in three sets — 25-15, 25-16, 25-17 — in the Region 1 quarterfinals Tuesday night. With the win, the Bobcats (23-5) advance to the regional semifinals and will face a very familiar foe, District 1 runner-up Tallahassee Lincoln, in next Tuesday's regional semifinals at Buchholz.

It will be the fifth time these two teams will meet, but none bigger than next week's match, which begins at 7 p.m.

“The match that we played tonight definitely proved how hard our regular-season district was,” said Bobcats first-year coach Alesha Busch. “We have three teams in our district that are top 10 in the state.

“It is hard as a player to stay focused and motivated when you are used to playing teams of a certain caliber. I think my team did a phenomenal job of staying focused and knowing what was on the line in that match.”

Junior outside hitter Caroline Redmond had 13 kills in 17 attempts (76 percent) with 11 service points, three aces and five digs, and junior setter Gaby Rubeis had 42 assists, five kills, 13 service points and eight digs to lead Buchholz.

Busch substituted often during the match, resting her starters when the Bobcats had a sizable lead in a set, which was often.

The Bobcats were up 13-2 in the first game, highlighted by four ace serves and three kills by Redmond. Buchholz led by as much 14 points before winning the set, 25-15.

The second game proved to be competitive early as Fletcher took its first lead of the night. But after an 8-8 tie, the Bobcats started taking control, getting ace serves from Kaylyn Trobaugh, Madison Holt and Kristin Ferry as well as kills from Olivia Reed, Ashley Reichenbach, Rayor Ariet and Redmond for a 25-16 win.

Buchholz jumped to a 11-0 lead to open set three, getting excellent serving from Courtney Stephens (three aces) and never looked back en route to a 25-17 victory to close out the match.

Julie Fuchs added eight kills and two blocks for the Bobcats, and Stephens finished with 24 service points, four aces and nine digs.

“This will be our fifth time playing Lincoln this year,” Redmond said. “I know everyone is so motivated and pumped up. We are focused on winning state and doing the best we can to make it happen. We get along great with each other. There is a lot chemistry on this team.”

Contact Larry Savage at 352-374-5050 or larry.savage@gvillesun.com. And follow at Twitter.com/sunpreps

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