Pompano Beach volleyball takes district title

Posted on 31 October 2012 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Pompano Beach girls volleyball coach William Strachan wasn’t sure what to expect out of his team this season after losing five starters to graduation.

The Tornadoes finished 21- 4 last season as it lost to Jensen Beach in the regional semifinals, and Strachan knew his team would have to develop quickly to have a shot at the post season.

“Coming into the year, I thought we would take our licks this year, but we are playing well,” said Strachan, who is in his fifth year at the school. “We are relatively young. We have two seniors on the team and the rest are underclassmen. We graduated six seniors last year, but it was most of our offense. We lost a couple of all-county players.”

It didn’t stop Pompano Beach from capturing its second consecutive district championship as Paige Alsten had 21 kills and 13 points in the District 16-5A championship win over Mourning High School on Oct. 29.

The Tornadoes (17-7) polished off Mourning in relatively quick fashion as it won in three games – 25-19, 25- 12, and 25-17. Pompano Beach was slated to play Riviera Beach Suncoast on Wednesday night in the Class 5A regional quarterfinals.

“It was just a matter of fine tuning the discipline,” Strachan said. “We have a lot of beach talent. We are like a pipeline to college beach volleyball. We are making up in athleticism. There is a difference between the indoor and outdoor game, but our ball control skill is there.”

Pompano Beach senior Savannah Davis has committed to FIU’s sand program, which will make its debut this spring. She will join another pair of Tornadoes’ graduates who have gone on to play beach volleyball in college.

The Pellitteri sisters, sophomore Stephanie and freshman Kristina, went on to Florida State, where they helped the Seminoles finish third in the nation last season. Younger sister Brittney Pellitteri, a junior at Pompano Beach, is likely headed to a college sand volleyball program as well.

The team has also received strong play from sophomore Casey Calhoun and freshman Cori Smothers this season.

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