Posted: 10:52 am Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Volleyball: Jupiter shocks nationally ranked Boca Raton 

By Anthony Chiang

Boca Raton had dropped just two sets all season. On Wednesday, the Bobcats couldn’t even win one.

Jupiter shocked nationally ranked Boca (6-1), earning a three-set home victory over the Bobcats 25-20, 26-24, 26-24 on Wednesday. It marked Boca’s first loss of the season. (We had a photographer at the match and he put up a fantastic photo gallery from Jupiter’s win. It can be viewed here.)

Jupiter shocked nationally ranked Boca Raton in three sets Wednesday. (Photo by Richard Graulich)

Throughout the match, the Warriors looked like the better team. Boca, which entered the match ranked No. 6 in the MaxPreps national high school volleyball rankings, trailed for most of the night.

Jupiter began the match on a 7-2 run and never looked back, using a big performance from junior Cara Guthrie. The outside hitter tallied a team-high 15 kills and posed problems for Boca.

“It’s really big because we’ve always struggled with Boca,” Jupiter coach Blane Betz said. “For us to play like this on a night like this really means a lot to the girls. It shows their hard work and dedication to what they are trying to accomplish this year.”

Guthrie wasn’t the only one on Jupiter (8-2) to turn in a quality performance. Junior setter Allie Weeks recorded 27 assists and five digs, while libero Dani Jaffe accounted for 15 digs in the match.

One of the Warriors’ biggest runs of the night came in the second set, trailing the Bobcats 24-23. Jupiter strung together three consecutive points to win it, carrying that momentum into the third set.

“I’m glad that they didn’t just let that push them out,” Betz said. “We kept fighting. After you win the first set, sometimes it’s hard to win the second. But we fought back and showed a lot of maturity. I told them after the match, ‘You guys have grown up a lot.’ The maturity is definitely a big step forward from last year.”

On Boca’s end, there were a lot of passing and hitting errors. Along with Jupiter’s impressive play, the Warriors were able to take advantage of a lot of mental mistakes from the Bobcats. One of the positives for Boca was the play of outside hitters Charlotte Earnhart and Christine Jarman, who each tallied 15 kills in the match.

“It completely grounds us,” Boca coach Amanda Angermeier said. “This has been the first tough team that we’ve actually seen thus far. It really puts into perspective for us the things that we need to work on in practice. This will get us ready.”

Now, Angermeier hopes the loss forces Boca to lose its national ranking.

“To be totally honest with you, I wish we weren’t ranked,” she admitted. “I wish nobody would even think about that. We already have a target on our back as it is, winning states last year, so we don’t need anything added. Hopefully, this kind of gives way to that and we can focus on our own team.”

But on Wednesday, the focus was on Jupiter.

“I was very surprised that we won in three sets because Boca is such an amazing team,” Betz said. “They were all close sets, so they could have gone either way. That could have easily been a five-set match because Boca is that good.”