The Panthers earned their first district title since 2011 by topping the Titans, 3-1 (25-14, 25-15, 15-25, 25-20).
SOUTH ORANGE The Dr. Phillips varsity volleyball team earned it's first district championship since 2011 — and it's first under first-year coach Danny Eleutiza — by defeating the rival Olympia Titans Oct. 20, 3-1 (25-14, 25-15, 15-25, 25-20), at Cypress Creek High.
"It means a lot — some of these girls, I didn't know coming in (before the season)," Eleutiza said. "Being able to coach them and win the district, that's just the first step of what we want to accomplish."
Maredis Colon led the Panthers (18-7) with 17 kills, Gregna Fuentes added 36 assists and Fabiola Ribas tallied 24 digs.
As champ of District 5 in Class 9A, Dr. Phillips will host Lithia's Newsome High (17-7), the runner-up in District 6, at 8 p.m. Tuesday in the Class 9A Region 2 Quarterfinals.
"We've got six seniors and we would like to go as far as we can for them," Eleutiza said. "The team has progressed a lot. ... We've just got to take care of business."
Johnna Shamley tallied 8 kills and 16 digs for Olympia (14-8). The Titans will hit the road to take on undefeated Riverview High (20-0) of Sarasota in their respective regional quarterfinal match. Veteran coach Mitch Sadowsky is hopeful his team can bring the positives from a strong third and fourth set against the Panthers — and leave the negatives from a rough first two sets behind.
"We've just got to clean up our play — in the third set, fourth set we got rolling pretty well," Sadowsky said. "If we play with confidence and we execute, then we're pretty fun to watch."
Contact Steven Ryzewski at [email protected].