Sunday, October 9, 2011

Prep volleyball: Big matches on tap this week

(photo by Paul Videla)

We may be in the thick of football season, but a handful of are volleyball teams are playing key matches in Manatee County this week, including Kayla Armer and Manatee, which hosts Venice on Thursday.

Here is a glance at some of the matches.

MONDAY - Cardinal Mooney at Saint Stephen's: The Falcons are 15-6 and 4-0 in Class 3A-District 10 and will clinch the top seed in the district tournament with a win over the Cougars. Cardinal Mooney, which hosts the district tournament beginning Tuesday, Oc. 25, is in the running with BCS for the No. 2 seed.

TUESDAY - Saint Stephen's at Bradenton Christian: Time will tell if BCS, which enters the week 3-2 in district play, will still be in contention for the top spot when the Panthers host their rivals Tuesday. But even if the postseason bracket is already set, this match should mean something - the Falcons handed BCS its first loss of the season late last month, but the Panthers knocked off Saint Stephen's in the semifinals of the Manatee County tournament on Oct 1. And these two teams will probably meet again in the district final, so Tuesday's winner will gain a key mental edge.

THURSDAY - Venice at Manatee: The math is simple: whomever wins tonight takes the No. 1 seed into the Class 7A-District 10 tournament, as both teams will enter 4-0 in district play. The great Manatee teams of the past could never get by Venice, be it in the regular season, district final or regional playoffs. A win Tuesday would convince this year's Hurricanes that they can.

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