Palm Beach Gardens sweeps Royal Palm Beach in boys volleyball matchup
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
by Joseph Kairalla
Palm Beach Gardens clinched the fourth and final spot in the District 5 playoffs with a 25-23, 25-16, 25-22 sweep of Royal Palm Beach on Wednesday night.
With two of his best players sidelined by injuries, Royal Palm Beach coach Sal Ciano wasn't surprised by the outcome.
"We played hard, but the injuries have taken their toll," Ciano said. "Lately we've had a rough time - but we're probably the best fifth seed in the county."
With only four teams qualifying for the playoffs, the win not only sealed Gardens' spot, but also gave its coach Eric Woodrum an optimistic outlook on the road ahead.
"We're a young team that is still getting better and I think lately, even tonight, we proved we can play with the top teams in the area," Woodrum said.
The first and third games were very similar with the Gators (10-12) jumping out to comfortable leads, then holding off several Wildcat (10-10) rallies for close victories.
"One of our biggest problems all year has been closing out games," Woodrum said. "It was nice to see the kids respond tonight."
The second game was all Gators as they jumped to a 16-6 lead and Royal Palm never got closer than nine points.
The Gators were led by sophomores Price Foshee (15 kills) and Andrew Rotondi (five blocks), who were all over the floor. Troy Wisnewski was also key for Gardens with 10 kills and Conner Dalton contributed 39 assists.
"We'll keep fighting and find ways to improve," Ciano said.
Palm Beach Gardens faces Jupiter tonight in what could be a preview of the first round of districts, with the Warriors looking like the top-seed.
"If we can execute and not give away points, then we can play with anyone in this county," Woodrum said. "Talent-wise, we're that good."
TRINITY CHRISTIAN D. SANTALUCES 25-22, 25-21, 27-25
Joe Bonner had 16 assists and seven digs and Phillip Holas added 19 digs as the Warriors (4-17) swept the Chiefs in Lantana.
DWYER D. SUNCOAST 25-14, 25-17, 25-17
Jason Sorenson had 12 kills and five digs and Wade Jarvin added 10 blocks and five kills to lead the Panthers (14-7) to the sweep of the Chargers in Palm Beach Gardens. Brandon Kern had 22 service points for Dwyer.
OLYMPIC HEIGHTS D. FOREST HILL 25-19, 25-16, 25-9
Jakub Ciesla had 26 kills, 10 digs and eight blocks to lead the Lions (4-9) past the Falcons in Boca Raton.