BY GENE NARDI
The Wellington High School girls varsity volleyball team suffered its first loss of the season Thursday, Oct. 24 to second-ranked Jupiter High School in four sets (25-22, 25-18, 22-25, 25-23).
Wellington was the host venue for the District 9-8A tournament. The state’s number-one ranked team, the Lady Wolverines entered the tournament undefeated at 25-0. The team also boasted a 14th national ranking.
As the tournament’s top seed, Wellington swept Palm Beach Gardens in three sets (25-12, 25-13, 25-11). Bailey Williams had 14 kills and 7 digs. Sirena Vorster had 6 kills and 3 blocks, and Alexis Paul had 6 kills and 2 blocks.
The win put the team in the finals against Jupiter, which Lady Wolverines had defeated earlier in the season.
Jupiter won back-to-back sets, but not without a Wellington fight. The two exchanged points early through the first two, but Jupiter pulled away with a 10-4 run, and a 10-3 run in the second set.
The Lady Wolverines found some momentum and took the third set. Chelsea Boretti and Sirena Vorster helped power Wellington into the fourth set, avoiding the sweep.
Wellington, at one point in the fourth set, had a 15-9 lead, but Jupiter muscled back, and took the set 25-23 for the district title.
The Lady Wolverines earned the district runner-up honor and will advance into the regional tournament to take on Boca Raton. The Lady Wolverines previously defeated Boca at the end of the regular season.
Boretti finished with 40 assists. Vorster added 13 kills and a team high 9 blocks.
“You hate to lose the district championship. It’s tearing my girls’ hearts out,” Wellington coach Brian Bausch said. “We have to change our focus for Boca.”
Wellington traveled to Boca Raton on Wednesday, Oct. 30, but results were not available at press time.
ABOVE: Wellington’s Tiffany Cline keeps the ball in play in the final match.