Our staff's picks for the best volleyball players in Pinellas County this season.
Tampa Bay has always been one of the stronger areas for volleyball in Florida. This season was no exception. Three schools advanced to the state tournament. Bishop McLaughlin represented Class 3A in the state final. Plant was in the Class 8A state final. And Shorecrest won the Class 4A state championship, the first in school history. But those weren't the only schools that had good seasons or good players. Here is the Tampa Bay Times' 2018 all-Tampa Bay volleyball team:
Pinellas Player of the Year: OH Jacqueline St. Cin, Sr., Shorecrest
Why we picked her: She was the best player on the best team in Class 4A. St. Cin and junior Chaise Campbell were a dynamic duo all season, but they saved their best for the region and state tournament. St. Cin played a big role in the 3-1 win over Calvary Christian in the region final. In the Class 4A state final against Palm Beach Gardens Benjamin, St. Cin had a game-high 16 kills, including the match clincher.
The Chargers won the school's first volleyball state championship.
"We were so hyped up, but then by the time the bus pulled into school we were all crashed," St. Cin said. "We were so tired from the day we just passed out."
Shorecrest finished 24-4 under first-year coach Raquel Ferreira. St. Cin said it wasn't easy getting a new coach in her final season, but it turned out just fine.
"At first there were some team meetings about what we were doing," she said. "But you could tell she was a good coach and we were getting better and better. By the time we got to regionals we felt we could beat anybody."
Did you know? St. Cin has attended Shorecrest since she was 3 years old. She has been a member of the varsity team since she was in eighth grade. St. Cin and fellow senior Taylor Waldmann have been teammates for five years.
"I get a special medallion when I graduate for being at the school since preschool," St. Cin said. "It's gone by so fast. I can't believe I've played my last game here."
St. Cin is committed to USF. She was originally committed to Clemson, but when the Tigers lost interest she decided to stay local.
"The first time around, I wasn't really comfortable at USF and I really wanted to go to Clemson," St. Cin said. "But when that fell through then I went back to USF and decided to try it again. I went on an official visit and went through all the facilities. We were going through the fitness center and I just went outside with my parents and looked at the campus. I got teary-eyed. This was it. This was where I wanted to be. It was a long journey."
She will enroll at USF in June and plans to study mass communications.
Coach of the Year: Raquel Ferreira, Shorecrest
Ferreira, a former professional beach volleyball player, took over at Shorecrest this season. All she did was mold the team into state champions. After losing twice to district rival Calvary Christian, the Chargers figured out a way to win the third match in the region semifinals. That paved the way to the state final. Shorecrest lost only one set in its march to the school's first state title.
MH Chaise Campbell, Jr., Shorecrest:
Perfect complement to St. Cin is a 6-foot-3 middle hitter who can block and rack up kills.
S Abby Strong, Sr., Palm Harbor University
OH Julia Gilby, Jr., St. Petersburg
OH Cathryn Long, Jr. Calvary Christian
Lib Jill Kilgroe, Sr., St. Petersburg
Lib Pammy Robinson, Sr., Clearwater Central Catholic
S Jennafer Long, Jr., Calvary Christian
OH Kylie White, So., Palm Harbor University
OH Jacqueline Perry, Sr., Shorecrest
MH Katy Cameron, Jr., Palm Harbor University
Lib Zeena Khazendar, Sr., Palm Harbor University
OH/MH Anya Reinhard, Sr., Tarpon Springs
S Taylor Waldmann, Sr., Shorecrest
OH Malia Barker, Sr., Palm Harbor University
OH Mackenzie Dufresne, Sr., Tarpon Springs
MH Morgan Madasz, Sr., Northside Christian
Lib Elly Collins, Sr., Tarpon Springs
OH Linsey Harrison, Jr., Clearwater Central Catholic
From Shorecrest: Annabel Happ, Julia Craig