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Thursday, Sep 21, 2017
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Prep volleyball: Region quarterfinal previews

Preview capsules for the this week's regional quarterfinals for Tampa area volleyball teams: TODAY'S QUARTERFINALS, 7 p.m. CLASS 8A-REGION 2 WHO: Wharton at Palm Harbor; East Lake at Plant
OUTLOOK: Plant defeated Wharton for the district tournament title, but now has the unenviable task of playing host to the defending 8A state champs. East Lake defeated Plant earlier this season. Wharton has to face a Palm Harbor team that is playing its best volleyball of late. CLASS 6A-REGION 3 WHO: Strawberry Crest at Bradenton Lakewood Ranch; Seminole Osceola at Sickles OUTLOOK: Although Strawberry Crest has not played Lakewood Ranch this season, the Chargers know they have their work cut out for them since Lakewood Ranch beat Sickles 3-0 earlier this season. Led by the hitting of Megan Taris, Paige Lee, Blaire Beamer, Lauryn Nelson and Ava Lombardi, Sickles — which defeated Strawberry Crest in the district tourney final — will be a tough opponent for an Osceola team that lost in four sets to Lakewood Ranch on Thursday. CLASS 4A-REGION 3 WHO: Tampa Catholic at Arcadia DeSoto County; Avon Park at Berkeley Prep OUTLOOK: Playing with a young squad, Tampa Catholic looks to gain playoff experience. Led by the hitting of freshman Abby Zimroth and junior Sydney Blank, the Crusaders hope to advance to the second round where they could get a chance to avenge a couple of losses this season to defending state champion Berkeley Prep. CLASS 3A-REGION 2 WHO: Seffner Christian at Lakeland McKeel; Lakeland Christian at Tampa Prep OUTLOOK: The Crusaders travel to play two-time 3A-District 7 champ McKeel. The winner of this match has the unenviable task of meeting Tampa Prep in the region semifinals, provided the Terrapins win on Wednesday. Tampa Prep has played an extremely tough non-district schedule, which should bode well in regions. CLASS 2A-REGION 2 WHO: Bayshore Christian at Lakeland Victory Christian; Winter Haven All Saints' at Cambridge Christian OUTLOOK: Victory split its matches with All Saints' this season, while Bayshore defeated All Saints'. Victories by Bayshore and Cambridge would set up an entertaining region semifinal matchup. Bayshore and Cambridge have already met three times this season, with Cambridge having won twice. WEDNESDAY'S QUARTERFINALS, 7 p.m. CLASS 7A-REGION 2 WHO: Plant City at Lakeland Jenkins; Lakeland at Riverview OUTLOOK: The Hillsborough Countyschools have their work cut out for them against the best two teams in Polk County. CLASS 7A-REGION 3 WHO: Freedom at Clearwater; St. Petersburg at Steinbrenner OUTLOOK: Freedom, which has lost five of its last seven games, has an extremely tough opponent in Clearwater. Senior Madison Seuzeneau and junior Rachel Mathison have had big hitting seasons for Steinbrenner. CLASS 5A-REGION 3 WHO: Lennard at Dunedin; Lakewood at Robinson OUTLOOK: Robinson hopes to get back middle-hitter Crystal Ortiz, who has been out with a sprained ankle. The Knights played an extremely tough non-district schedule, which should help in the regions.
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