HomeTeam 25: Volleyball rankings, Week 6
Kelly Parsons and Rodney Page

1. Carrollwood Day (17-2)

Scoop: The Patriots take a 10-day break for service missions, and that’s why they front loaded 19 matches in their schedule. When they return, a district match at Seffner Christian on Oct. 6 awaits.

2. Berkeley Prep (7-3)

This week: Tuesday at Holy Names, Thursday-Saturday at Asics Challenge (Chicago)

Scoop: The Bucs have always been big on tough schedules, and that continues to be true with a weekend tournament in Chicago where coach John Coup says they’ll face some of the best competition in the nation. That kind of experience will certainly come in handy with district tournaments nearing.

3. Palm Harbor University (11-2)

This week: Tuesday at Countryside, Wednesday vs. Northeast/Countryside (PCAC second round), Thursday vs. St. Petersburg

Scoop: The Hurricanes bounced back from two losses in the Berkeley tournament by easily defeating Pinellas Park and Clearwater Central Catholic. PHU is clearly the team to beat in the PCAC and in Class 7A-10, and it will be tested this week, especially on Thursday against the Green Devils.

4. Mitchell (16-1)

This week: Tuesday at Land O’Lakes, Wednesday vs. Wesley Chapel, Thursday vs. East Lake

Scoop: Since losing to East Lake earlier this month, the Mustangs have won six straight. Another match against the Eagles looms on Thursday. They will certainly need sophomore outside hitter Jessie Mooney (131 kills) and senior hitter Kayla Widera (29 blocks, 88 kills) to be at the top of their games.

5. Wharton (11-1)

This week: Tuesday vs. Sickles, Thursday vs. Steinbrenner

Scoop: Freedom took a set from Wharton, just the fifth the Wildcats have dropped all season, but Wharton prevailed to keep its near-perfect record in tact. Next up: four straight district matches, which could put the Wildcats in the driver’s seat heading into the district tournament.

6. Robinson (11-3)

This week: Thursday at Jefferson

Scoop: Robinson’s only losses came in the Berkeley Premier, but the Knights rebounded last week with a 3-0 win against Middleton. Outside hitter Catia Sleet leads the way with 200 kills, more than double the next-best Knight’s total.

7. Plant (12-3)

This week: Monday vs. Wiregrass Ranch, Thursday at Sickles

Scoop: Plant continued to rebound in district play Monday night with a 3-0 win against the Bulls. Kaylie Butts and Ansley Gould continue to be a good one-two punch for the Panthers, who will play three straight district matches until finishing the regular season against Robinson and in the Knights’ round-robin Dig Pink tournament.

8. Tampa Bay HEAT (16-3)

This week: Tuesday at Lakeside Christian, Thursday at Academy at the Lakes

Scoop: The HEAT won last weekend’s Crusader Clash, defeating Tampa Catholic in the final and dropping only one set in five tournament matches. Abigail Hodges and Abigail Casiano each contributed seven kills in the 2-0 victory against the Crusaders.

9. Academy at the Lakes (15-3)

This week: Tuesday vs. Foundation Christian, Thursday vs. Tampa Bay HEAT

Scoop: AATL’s six-match win streak came to an end last week against the HEAT, which only makes this week’s rematch between the district rivals that much more exciting. The last time the two met, Gigi Chiaramonte led the Wildcats with 12 kills and a block.

10. Shorecrest (14-3)

This week: Thursday vs. Bradenton St. Stephen’s, Friday vs. Seminole

Scoop: The Chargers won three out of four matches at the Tampa Catholic tournament, but did lose a close one to Tampa Bay HEAT. The trio of Savanna Roy, Nicole Levine and Jacqueline St. Cin continue to lead the Chargers at the net. A tough non-district match against Seminole awaits Friday night.

11. East Lake (10-4)

This week: Tuesday at Pinellas Park, Wednesday vs. Lakewood/Tarpon Springs (PCAC second round), Thursday at Mitchell

Scoop: The Eagles gained some confidence last week when they came back from a 2-0 deficit to defeat St. Petersburg 3-2. Danielle Ballou, Gillian Benoit, Shannon Farley, Jordan Duffy, Kayla Yasso and Bailey Morey have paced East Lake all season.

12. St. Petersburg (12-5)

This week: Wednesday vs. Dunedin (PCAC second round), Thursday at Palm Harbor University

Scoop: How will the Green Devils bounce back from their loss to East Lake? St. Petersburg has to have a short memory, with a tough match against PHU on Thursday. Jenna Smith continues to lead the way with 105 kills. Natalie Danner has 32 aces and 30 blocks, and freshman libero Jillian Kilgroe has 218 digs.

13. Tampa Catholic (10-6)

This week: Wednesday at St. Petersburg Catholic, Thursday vs. Brooks DeBartolo

Scoop: Tampa Catholic extended its win streak to seven matches last week before ultimately falling to Tampa Bay HEAT in the Crusader Clash final. Back-to-back 3-2 wins against CCC and Holy Names were impressive, and outside hitter Abby Zimroth has been on point.

14. Academy of the Holy Names (10-6)

This week: Tuesday vs. Berkeley Prep, Thursday vs. Sarasota Cardinal Mooney

Scoop: Despite strong play from outside hitter Camille Opp – who leads the team with 186 kills – the Jaguars fell to Tampa Catholic in a 3-2 match that went down to the wire. The road doesn’t get much easier from here. Next, AHN has district foe Berkeley Prep, a favorite to win the district.

15. Ridgewood (15-1)

This week: Monday at Fivay, Thursday at Wesley Chapel

Scoop: The Rams have won 10 straight matches and just clinched the Fivay Invitational title with a 2-1 win over Lakeland. Aubree Sigismondi (169 kills), Johannah Cummines (133 kills) and Jada Wilks (112 kills) have been a tough trio at the net. Setter Sara Pretto has 347 assists.

16. Wiregrass Ranch (9-4)

This week: Monday at Plant, Wednesday vs. Freedom, Thursday vs. Freedom

Scoop: The Bulls must bounce back from a straight-sets loss at Plant on Monday. They had won three straight prior to that match. In a tough district that includes Wharton, Freedom, Plant and Steinbrenner, the Bulls can’t afford to take any more steps backward.

17. Sunlake (9-5)

This week: Tuesday at Springstead, Thursday at Zephyrhills

Scoop: The Seahawks look like they will be the second playoff team in Class 6A-8 behind Mitchell. Kelsey Riquelme leads the team with 100 kills and 31 blocks. Setter Colby Coats has 224 assists.

18. Bloomingdale (6-3)

This week: Monday vs. Tampa Bay Tech, Thursday vs. Durant

Scoop: The Bulls have lost two of their past four matches, against Ridgewood and Strawberry Crest, but have a chance to turn it around with three straight district matches. Junior outside hitter Emily Doyle leads the team with 84 kills and 19 aces.

19. Freedom (6-2)

This week: Monday vs. Gaither, Wednesday at Wiregrass Ranch

Scoop: Even though the Patriots fell to district opponent Wharton, they were one of the few teams to take a set from Wildcats this season. They could be the dark horse for one of the two playoff spots in the tough Class 7A-9, especially if they can pull out a win against the Bulls this week.

20. Cambridge Christian (8-2)

This week: Tuesday vs. Tampa Prep

Scoop: Last week the Lancers snapped Seffner Christian’s eight-match win streak by beating their district rival 3-2. Senior outside hitter Grace Nelson had a team-high 22 kills and 25 digs in the victory, and is averaging nearly four kills per set.

21. Seffner Christian (10-4)

This week: Friday-Saturday at Northside Christian tournament

Scoop: The Crusaders were riding high before falling to Cambridge Christian, but they have a chance to bounce back in tournament play this weekend before taking on CDS and Tampa Prep in two big district matches next week.

22. Brandon (5-2)

This week: Tuesday vs. Blake, Wednesday at Riverview

Scoop: The Eagles continue to make huge strides following their one-win season last year and could even be a playoff contender. If they can win the rest of their district games – against Blake this week and Armwood next – a good district tournament seed would be the first step in making that happen.

23. Indian Rocks Christian (11-8)

This week: Tuesday vs. Admiral Farragut, Thursday at Lakeland Christian, Friday vs. Largo

Scoop: The Golden Eagles are coming off a 3-2 record at the Dr. Phillips/Edgewater tournament in Orlando. After dropping its first two matches, IRC won three straight. Senior Autumn Frost has 132 kills, and freshman Brianna Henderson has added 102.

24. Steinbrenner (6-7)

This week: Monday vs. Leto, Thursday at Wharton

Scoop: Steinbrenner has lost their past three matches, but the Warriors should get credit for playing a tough schedule with a young team. The challenges keep coming for Steinbrenner starting Thursday, when the Warriors start a streak of three straight district matches against Wharton, Wiregrass Ranch and Freedom.

25. Clearwater Central Catholic (4-8)

This week: Tuesday vs. Brooks DeBartolo

Scoop: The Marauders had a tough week, with losses to top-ranked Carrollwood Day and No. 3 Palm Harbor University. The schedule is brutal, and this young team is being tested just about every match. This week’s only match is in the district, which means sophomore Lily Curci and junior Channing Chambers can not play because they were ruled ineligible for district games.

In the conversation: Calvary Christian (8-6), St. Petersburg Catholic (9-6), Springstead (7-7), Northeast (7-4), Anclote (9-8), Seminole (9-5), Weeki Wachee (9-7), Hillsborough (7-6)