High school volleyball season previews


Libero Lydia Land and the Lafayette Hornets will be shooting for an unprecedented third-straight Class 1A state championship.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer/FILE
Published: Monday, August 26, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, August 26, 2013 at 2:31 a.m.

Top 12 returning players

Allison Benton, St. Francis, OH, Sr.

Ann Lorrayne Bzoch, St. Francis, L, Sr.

Kelly Collins, Buchholz, OH, Jr.

Whitney Drost, Santa Fe, OH, Jr.

Alex Fischer, Gainesville, S, Sr.

Julie Fuchs, Buchholz, OH, Sr.

Kelsey Harris, Newberry, OH, Jr.

Lydia Land, Lafayette, S, Sr.

Farah Rajaee, St. Francis, Sr.

Kayla Simmons, P.K. Yonge, S, Sr.

Jac'cara Walker, P.K. Yonge, OH, So.

Kelsey Watts, Gainesville, OH, Sr.

Preview capsules

Position key: OH=outside hitter; MH=middle hitter; OPP=opposite hitter; S=setter; MB=middle blocker; DS=defensive specialist; RS=right side; L=libero

CLASS 7A

Buchholz Bobcats

Coach: Jacque Robinson Huggins (1st year)

District: 3-7A (Atlantic Coast, Fleming Island, Fletcher)

2012 record: 27-6 (district, regional champions; state semifinalists)

First match: Tuesday at St. Francis, 6:30 p.m.

Top players: Imari Ashley, Jr., MB; Kelly Collins, Jr., OH; Kate Hellkamp, So., S; Julie Fuchs, Sr., OH

CLASS 6A

Gainesville Hurricanes

Coach: Eddie Maynard (3rd year, 71-38 overall record)

District: 2-6A (Columbia, Middleburg, Oakleaf, Orange Park)

2012 record: 19-10 (district runner-up; regional semifinalists)

First match: Tuesday vs. The Villages, 6:30 p.m.

Top players: Alex Fischer, Sr., S; Jennifer Rosado, Jr., MB; Kaelyn Nash, So., MB; Kelsey Watts, Sr., OH

Columbia Tigers

Coach: Rebecca Golden (3rd year)

District: 2-6A (Gainesville, Middleburg, Oakleaf, Orange Park)

2012 record: 19-5 (district runner-up; regional semifinalists)

First match: Tuesday at Oakleaf, 6:30 p.m.

Top players: Annie Milton, Sr., MB; Charlee Watson, Sr., L; Jara Courson, Jr., OH; Meghan Yates, Jr., OH

CLASS 5A

Eastside Rams

Coach: Erin Maynard (1st year)

District: 5-5A (Belleview, Lake Weir, North Marion)

2012 record: 12-14 (district champion; regional quarterfinalists)

First match: Thursday at Middleburg, 6:30 p.m.

Top players: Heather Page, Jr., OH; Maddie Burger, Sr., OH/S; Alana Sherman, Sr., MB; Maggie Carnes, So., MB/OH

Suwannee Bulldogs

Coach:Heather Benson (2nd year)

District: 2-5A (Tallahassee Rickards, Wakulla)

First match: Tuesday vs. Baker County

Top players: Mallory Morgan, Sr., S; Sarah Futch, Sr., OH; Molly Vogel, Jr., L

CLASS 4A

Santa Fe Raiders

Coach: Michele Faulk (21st year, 381-225)

District: 5-4A (Bradford, Fort White, Interlachen, Keystone Heights, P.K. Yonge)

2012 record: 24-6 (district champion; regional finalists)

First match: Thursday vs. Bradford, 6 p.m.

Top players: Whitney Drost, Jr., OH; Megan Irish, So., MB; Jamie Holton, Sr., OH/RS; Haley MacCallum, So., S

P.K. Yonge Blue Wave

Coach: Chad Davis (1st year)

District: 5-4A

2012 record: 19-10 (District 3-3A runner-up; regional semifinalists)

First match: Tuesday at Fort White, 6 p.m.

Top players: Kayla Simmons, Sr., S; Jac'cara Walker, So., OH; Gabby O'Connell, So., MH; Eboni Harris, 8th grade, MH

Keystone Heights Indians

Coach: Nikki Jolley (2nd year)

District: 5-4A

2012 record: 20-7 (district runner-up; regional quarterfinalists)

First match: Tuesday at Bradford, 6 p.m.

Bradford Tornadoes

Coach: Robbie Best

District: 5-4A

First match: Tuesday vs. Keystone Heights, 6 p.m.

Interlachen Rams

Coach: Tonya Hays

District: 5-4A

2012 record: 1-27

First match: Tuesday vs. Palatka, 6 p.m.

Top players: Jennifer Roberts, Sr., OH; Hannah Ogle, Sr., L/DS; Katie Borges, Sr., DS; Kaedi Gillman, So., MH/OPP

CLASS 3A

St. Francis Wolves

Coach: Nick Cheronis (3rd year, 45-16)

District: 3-3A (Oak Hall, St. Johns Country Day, St. Joseph)

2012 record: 26-5 (district and regional champions; state finalists)

First match: Tuesday vs. Buchholz, 6:30 p.m.

Top players: Allison Benton, Sr., OH; Farah Rajaee, Sr., S; Paige Stockman, Sr., OPP/S; Ann Lorrayne Bzoch, Sr., L

Oak Hall Eagles

Coach: Cari Martin (26th season, 570-181)

District: 3-3A

2012 record: 13-14

First match: Tuesday at Dixie County, 6:30 p.m.

Top players: Kelsie Tebbett, Sr., MB; Brooke Evans, Jr., S; Sky Martin, Jr., OH; Jilly Gibbs, So., MB

CLASS 2A

Cornerstone Academy Cougars

Coach: Stephanie Wyatt (7th year, 128-51)

District: 3-2A (Leesburg First Academy, Meadowbrook, Seven Rivers Christian, St. John Lutheran)

2012 record: 22-8 (district champion; regional finalists)

First match: Thursday vs. Ocala Forest, 7 p.m.

All home matches played at Westside Family Life Center

Top players: Haley Grooms, Sr., MB/OH; Jennifer Wing, Sr., MB/OH; Madison Wyatt, Jr., S; Emily Maule, So., L

CLASS 1A

Lafayette Hornets

Coach: Sonya Land (3rd year, 43-1)

District: 5-1A (Branford, Hamilton County, Jefferson County)

2012 record: 25-0 (district, regional and 2-time defending state champions, winners of 43 straight matches)

First match: Today vs. Newberry, 6:30 p.m.

Top players: Lydia Land, Sr., S; Darby Guyton, Sr., DS; Sydney Barry, Sr., MB; Savannah Hamlin, Sr., S/DS

Bell Bulldogs

Coach: Lisa Barry (first year)

District: 6-1A (Bronson, Hawthorne, Hilliard, Trenton)

2012 record: 14-4 (district champions, regional semifinalists)

First match: Today vs. Union County, 6:30 p.m.

Top players: Raychel Thomas, Jr., S; Ashley Williams, Jr., OH; Katarina Kresovic, Jr., L; Shelbie Hutto, Jr., OH

Bronson Eagles

Coach: Sherrie Schuler (16th year)

District: 6-1A

First match: Tuesday vs. Newberry, 6:30 p.m.

Top players: Brittany Riley, Jr., OH; Jasmine Parker, Jr., S/OH; Crystal Short, Jr., OH; Lauren Moore, Fr., OH

Trenton Tigers

Coach: Lynsey Grant (1st year)

District: 6-1A

First match: Today at Hilliard, 6:30 p.m.

Top players: Kylah Dawson, Jr.; Ginger Deen, So.; Kacee Langford, Jr.; Madison Redd, Jr.

Newberry Panthers

Coach: Dena Perry (1st season)

District: 7-1A (Chiefland, Dixie County, Union County, Williston)

2012 record: 13-7 (district champion, regional semifinalists)

First match: Today at Lafayette, 6:30 p.m.

Top players: Kelsey Harris, Jr., OH; Sydney Daugherty, Jr., OH/MB; Mariah Sapp, Jr., S; Shae Ridgeway, Jr., MB

Chiefland Indians

Coach: Debra Weeks (1st season, previously coached at Chiefland from 2000-2006)

District: 7-1A

First match: Sept. 3 vs. Dixie County, 6:30 p.m.

Top players: Hunter Hobbs, Sr., OH; Meghan Schmidt, Sr., OH; Caitlan Fuller, Sr., RH/S; Ashley Davies, Sr., L

Dixie County Bears

Coach: Karen Durham (2nd year)

District: 7-1A

First match: Today vs. Williston, 6:30 p.m.

Top players: Taylor Prentice, Sr., MB; Katelyn VanAernam, Jr., S; Allie Rogers, Jr., OH; Katie Jones, So., MB

Union County Tigers

Coach: Trudy Andrews (6th year, 79-58)

District: 7-1A

2012 record: 15-10 (District 7 runner-up, regional semifinalists)

First match: Today at Bell, 6:30 p.m.

Top players: Kayla Nettles, Sr., S; Kayla Andrews, Jr., OH; Tristyn Southerland, Jr., OH; Taylor Joyner, Sr., MB

Williston Red Devils

Coach: Kimberly Nivala (8th year)

District: 7-1A

2012 record: 17-5

First match: Today at Dixie County, 6:30 p.m.

Top players: Chelsea Dola, Sr., S/OH; Morgan Vanasco, Sr., OH; Darby Battle, Sr., all around; Taylor Whilden, Sr., all around

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