Evangelical Christian beat Clearwater Central Catholic last season to advance to the state final four.
Meeting again on Saturday with a trip to Kissimmee on the line, CCC made sure the Sentinels stayed home this time.
Clearwater Central Catholic defeated ECS in five sets (18-25, 25-21, 25-17, 20-25, 15-12) to take home the Region 3A-3 Championship.
“We knew it was going to be tough,” CCC coach Stephen Shepherd said. “ECS is a heck of a squad, we love the way they play and we have the most respect for them.”
For the Sentinels, senior captain Shelby Joslin led the way with 22 kills and junior Ginny Moore recorded 21.
Kasey Reynolds had 30 digs along with three service aces to stand out as well and Schuyler Moore dished out 53 assists.
ECS assistant coach Theresa Kabeo believed the players fought hard in the match, closing in on numerous comebacks throughout.
“The girls played their hearts out,” she said. “It’s tough when you fight as hard as they did and it slips away in the very end.”
ECS began their season strong, starting 11-0 and finishing 25-5 with victories against Chaminade Madonna and Lourdes Academy standing out on their way to a District 3A-11 Championship .
ECS will only lose two seniors (Joslin and Frankie Wood) and bring key players like Sydney Ferguson, Ginny Moore, Schuyler Moore, Reynolds and Emily Laquidara back into the fold.
“Overall we had a good season,” Ferguson said. “And as long as we work hard in the offseason and the players dedicate themselves to becoming better we should be great.”