South Walton Volleyball Ready for 2nd Straight Regional Finals Match-up with Bishop Kenny

JJ and Adam Bleday work towards return to pro ball.
Published: Oct. 29, 2023 at 11:29 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Here in the Panhandle we still have 5 teams ring chasing, hoping to be the last one standing. One of those five teams, and the only one who is not in the 1A class, is the 4A South Walton Seahawks.

Lead by 5th year Head Coach Meaghan Allen, this season the Seahawks have made their 2nd straight egional finals appearance and they did it in almost deja vu fashion. Last year South Walton beat North Bay Haven in the district championship, won in round 1, beat Bolles at Bolles in round 2 and took on Bishop Kenny in the regional finals, where they eventually lost.

This season, the Seahawks beat North Bay Haven in the district championship, won in round 1, beat Bolles at Bolles in round 2 and now face Bishop Kenny in the regional finals but they’re hoping that’s where the similarities stop.

“I think they’re excited at another opportunity to go play a good team. You know, obviously the last two seasons, Bishop Kenny has kind of ended our seasons, so I think we’re hungry to go over there and kind of change history a bit. I don’t think we’ve played our best volleyball yet at Bishop Kenny. It’s a big volleyball environment over there. The difference thing about this team we have this year is they don’t have any fear in them, any quit in them. They know it’s just another volleyball game, that’s how we’ve treated every opponent that we’ve played. That’s why we played a loaded schedule this year, is so we have that experience. So, when we do walk in it, we’re not shell shocked, we just know it’s another good volleyball match”, said Coach Allen.

Even though bishop Kenny has knocked South Walton out of the playoffs the last 3 years, Coach Allen said they are preparing to face the teams of Bishop Kenny old; they’re preparing to face the 2023 version of the Crusaders, and the 2023 version of Seahawks feel like they’ve found the recipe to do a little history rewrite.

“We’ve talked a lot about putting your foot on the gas and not letting up and they’ve really embraced that and that we just had to play clean volleyball, so that’s one of our kind of sayings this year, “clean volleyball.” We just have to go out there, play as error free as possible, limit our unforced errors. I tell my girls, any team can win on any given day. You just have to go out there, you have to do you job, it’s a volleyball team, it’s a volleyball game, you know, the nets the same height, it’s the same number of players on the other side of the net. We can’t make it bigger than what it is, it’s just volleyball. If you go into a gym thinking that they’re better than you or if you hype them up to be something huge, you’re going to give them 5 or 6 points a set. So we talk about not doing that, you know, it’s a even playing field”, said Coach Allen.

Bishop Kenny has made the regional finals 13 of the last 14 seasons, and has advance 8 times. This game set for Tuesday at 7pm.