Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

5 TO WATCH; Volleyball

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

5 TO WATCH; Volleyball

Article excerpt


Bartram Trail: After reaching the state semifinals last year behind Lexi Henriott, the area's top player, the Bears counter with a senior-heavy core in 2013. Six-foot-2 middle Sarah Ragland (right, Palm Beach Atlantic commit) and Stetson pledge Bailie Burkins, a 5-6 libero, lead what should be one of the area's top - and tallest - units. The Bears have six regulars who are 5-9 or taller.

Bishop Kenny: One of the most established programs around, the Crusaders have reached the state playoffs 17 consecutive seasons and made 12 state semifinals, including last year. There won't be any dropoff this season. Kills leader Denvyr Tyler-Palmer, a second-team All-First Coast selection, returns, as does fellow outside hitter Nadine Williams. A definite favorite to reach Lakeland.

Fleming Island: The Golden Eagles are young across the board, but should contend for a district championship against Fletcher in 2-7A. Sophomore outside Olivia Rutledge and junior outside Lauren Olsen will lead the offense. Potential is the key for Fleming Island. With so many young players here - eight or so underclass players could contribute - it could be a solid season and future for the Golden Eagles.

Providence: The Stallions return the power trio of setter Kayla Brockway, libero Nikki Pritchard and middle/outside Jamie Wienckowski for what should turn out to be a more successful season than last year's 16-13 finish. Providence is well-positioned for a run at the District 2-3A title.

St. Augustine: All eyes are on the Yellow Jackets this year following a 21-5 surge that took them all the way to the Class 6A state championship game. The road, at least within the district, is far more difficult this season in 4-6A, which includes St. Johns County teams Bartram Trail, Creekside and Nease. Returning libero Logan Holanchock (462 digs) is one of the best all-around players in the area. …

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