Boca Raton captures state volleyball championship
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
by Jeff Greer
Poor Amanda Angermeier.
For the second night in a row, Boca Raton's girls' volleyball coach helplessly watched from the sideline as her team came dangerously close to losing on state volleyball's largest stage. And for the second night in a row, a light flipped on and Boca stormed back in dramatic fashion.
This time, it was for the first state championship in program history -- and it made all those heart palpitations worthwhile -- as Boca rallied to beat Winter Park 22-25, 23-25, 25-23, 25-19, 15-9 in the Class 8A state title match at Silver Spurs Arena.
"I've aged about 10 years at least the past few days," Angermeier said, "but it's totally worth it. This is the best group of girls I could ask to coach."
Wednesday's final didn't exactly mirror Boca's semifinal win. On Tuesday, the Bobcats trailed 2-1 in match sets and 19-18 in the fourth set. They stormed back to win that set, and ultimately the fifth and deciding frame as well.
A night later, Boca (31-1) was down 2-0 in sets, but the Bobcats didn't wait until mid-set to turn things around. That immediately happened, as they raced out to an early four-point lead and held on to win their first set.
From there, the rest looked easy. Boca took control of the fourth set and turned a 9-all tie into a commanding 19-12 lead, and ultimately won comfortably. The fifth set was never in doubt.
"We've been playing some harder teams than we've seen this season," said Ruth Harrington, who had 18 kills and 16 digs. "It took us some time to adjust to it, but when it comes down to the wire, they give it their all. They want it so bad. This is what we worked for all season."
Libero Sydney Kantor delivered her usual businesslike performance, churning out 25 digs on a Boca back line that Winter Park at first overwhelmed with its sheer size and power.
Eventually, Kantor's frontline teammates came around, putting kills off and around Winter Park's lanky blockers. Charlotte Earnhart added yet another major contribution from the left side, racking up 15 kills and Kara Mason contributed 21 digs and 10 kills.
Katie LaPorte had nine kills and three blocks and setter Libby Vilmar, who was thrust into a starting role late this season, finished an impressive season with 55 assists and seven digs.