Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Crusaders Have No Regrets So Far; BK Meets Fort Myers in Volleyball State Semifinal Today

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Crusaders Have No Regrets So Far; BK Meets Fort Myers in Volleyball State Semifinal Today

Article excerpt

Byline: FRANCINE KING

Cari Whitmire and Amanda Liguori can sum up Bishop Kenny's season-ending loss to Nease in the Class 4A state semifinals last year in one word: regrettable.

That's why the Crusaders' motto this season has been "Have no regrets. Leave it all on the court."

As the only current Crusaders who played in the state semifinal loss, Whitmire and Liguori remind their teammates often that the worst feeling you can have is wondering if you could have done something better.

"When we talk to them we're like, '... Every single match, every single point, every single game, give it your all, because we don't want to look back on this season and think we could have pushed harder,'" said Whitmire, a junior. "We didn't want to have regrets at all. That's what I think has really helped us so far in the postseason."

The Crusaders (21-9) have nothing to regret so far, as they've played their way back to the final four, knocking off reigning state champion Nease en route.

Bishop Kenny will face Fort Myers (27-4) in a Class 4A state semifinal today at 6 p.m. today at The Lakeland Center.

Liguori and Whitmire, both outside hitters, led Bishop Kenny to a 3-2 regional semifinal victory over Nease last Tuesday. The FHSAA reclassification this season moved Nease from Region 2 to Region 1, ensuring that if Bishop Kenny and Nease met in the postseason, it would be in regional play.

But the Crusaders' biggest obstacle to returning to state was also the match they looked forward to all season.

"Coach [Suzanne] Winkler told us over summer," Whitmire recalled. "She said, 'This year, Nease is in our region, and to even get to state, you have to pass Nease.'

"I remember the day she told us. I looked at Amanda - and we just smiled."

Because they knew they were likely to get a crack at avenging last year's playoff loss - and they did. After Bishop Kenny defeated Nease, Whitmire and Liguori, a senior, received several congratulatory messages from their graduated teammates. …

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