South All-Stars sweep their way to inaugural title

By Corey Davis
Twitter – @ByCoreyDavis

JULINGTON CREEK – The South All-Stars dropped only one set on its way to winning the 2019 North Florida All-Star Series Inaugural Volleyball Classic on Saturday, Nov. 23, at Bartram Trail High School (St. Johns).

Led by a mixture of players from Class 5A state runner-up Vanguard (Ocala), Class 3A state semifinalist Trinity Catholic (Ocala), Class 6A Sweet 16 finalist Forest (Ocala) and Class 7A Regional Finalist East Ridge (Clermont), the South showed off its dominance in the tournament.

In the championship match on Saturday night, the South, coached by Randy Ewers (Vanguard) and Mayra Cuebas (East Ridge), easily swept the host East All-Stars 25-20, 25-17, 25-9 to win the inaugural title.

It was a well-rounded effort by the South, as several players stepped up to have big games. Leading the South was Alexis Schmidt (Vanguard) with 9 kills, Knydall Kalb (Vanguard) 9 kills, Kasey Permenter (Forest) 6 kills and 3 blocks, Re’na Ashley (Vanguard) 3 kills and 3 blocks, Tamrin Woosnam (Vanguard) 3 blocks, 2 aces and 2 kills and Ella Lipka (Ocala St. John Lutheran) 3 kills.

The East, coached by Lainey Kiekic (Bartram Trail) and Halle Peterson (Menendez), were led by Sammy Sicoli (Bartram Trail) with 7 kills, Bryanna Parrett (Oakleaf) 4 kills, Madison Heskett (Keystone Heights) 4 kills, Kyla Bailey (St. Augustine Menendez) 4 kills and a block, Taneja Robinson (Daytona Beach Father Lopez) 2 blocks and a kill, Anne Messler (St. Augustine) a kill and ace and Kailey DiPaula (Orange Park Fleming Island) a kill and ace.

Kalb was named Most Valuable Player for the South after finishing the tourney with 19 kills, 4 blocks and an ace; while Parrett was named MVP of the East after finishing the tourney with 13 kills and multiple digs on the day.

Third place game
In the third place game, the West All-Stars swept the North All-Stars 25-23, 25-13, 25-13 to clinch third place in the tourney.

The West, coached by Eric Marshall (Alachua Santa Fe) and Drue Barry (Bell), were led by Kennedy Wade (Gainesville Buchholz) 9 kills and 5 aces, Ella Yazdanpour (Buchholz) 5 kills, Ramsey Marshall (Santa Fe) 3 aces and a kill, Ameila MacCullum (Santa Fe) 3 aces and 2 kills and Lachelle Sikes (Branford) 4 kills and 2 blocks.

Julia Mangum (Jacksonville Christ’s Church) led the North with 7 kills and 4 blocks, Madison Scott (Neptune Beach Fletcher) added 3 kills and block, Kylie Vining (Jacksonville Harvest Community) chipped in 3 kills and 2 blocks, Asherah Collins (Lake City Columbia) had 3 kills and a block, Cameron Fenner (Jacksonville Bishop Kenny) contributed 2 kills and 2 aces and Morgan Killingsworth (Fletcher) added 3 kills.

Wade was named the Most Valuable Player for the West after finishing the tourney with 28 kills, 6 aces and 2 blocks; while Mangum was named the Most Valuable Player of the North after finishing with 10 kills and 10 blocks.

Semifinal #2

To get to the championship game, the South had to first take care of the West in the second semifinal Saturday afternoon and won a thrilling 25-23, 25-21, 21-25, 25-15 match.

Ashley led the South with 13 kills and 5 blocks, Permenter added 12 blocks and a kill, Kalb chipped in 10 kills and 4 blocks, Lipka added 5 kills and 4 blocks and Schmidt contributed 8 kills, 4 blocks and 2 aces. Also contributing were Madison Hilde (East Ridge) with 4 kills, Woosnam with 2 kills and 2 blocks, Tori Watts (Forest) 2 aces and a kill, Ainsley Clifford (Vanguard) 2 aces and a kill, Nicole Dorothea (Forest) 1 kill, 1 ace and 1 block.

Sikes, a UNF signee, led the West 10 kills and 2 blocks, Gracie Langford (Trenton) added 4 kills and 1 block, Wade chipped in 19 kills and 2 blocks, Jasmyn Solomon (Gainesville) contributed 3 kills and 2 blocks, Yazdanpour (Buchholz) added 3 blocks and 2 kills and Jillian Cassube (Bell) had 4 kills.

Semifinal #1
The East opened the tournament sweeping the North 25-13, 25-18 and 25-23 on Saturday morning in the first semifinal.

It was a well rounded effort by the East in the first game as the East was led by Sicoli with 5 kills and a block, Parrett 9 kills, Heskett 9 kills, Shaniece Steer (Ridgeview) 5 kills and Bailey with 4 kills and an ace.

Also contributing were Messler with 2 kills and a block, Robinson with 2 kills, DiPaula with 2 kills and Alyssa Guarino (New Smyrna Beach) with 3 aces.

Mangum, who has signed with Liberty University, led the North with 6 blocks and 3 kills in the first game of the day.

The North, coached by Debbie Christian and David Schwab of Christ’s Church Academy, also got key contributions from Killingsworth, who chipped in 3 kills, 1 ace and 1 block, Brianna Tucker (Callahan West Nassau) 2 blocks and a kill, Scott 2 kills and a block, Fenner 2 aces and a kill and Vining 2 aces and a block.