December 29, 2016
Sophomore Opp/MB Madara Bajare commits to the Southeast Missouri Redhawks for 2017.
"I'm so proud of Mada," said Coach Larkin. "She had a big challenge coming in as a transfer, but she had a great attitude and worked hard. Now, she is rewarded for it."
Her commitment makes it another clean sweep for the Lady Hawk sophomore class.
Way to go, ladies!
December 8, 2016
Awesome signing party for 4 of our sophomores! Abbie, Bri, and Larra will report in January. Shar will report in the summer.
Congrats, Ladies. Work Hard! Kick butt!
December 4, 2016
Libero Larra Bickelhaupt commits to University of Buffalo.
"Larra is a tireless worker. We are so proud of the strides she has made," said Coach Larkin. "We can't wait to see her compete in the MAC Conference."
Congrats Larra! We're proud of you!
November 14, 2016
Congratulations to Sharonda Pickering who has committed to FGCU. Sharonda joins a 20-win FGCU team in the midst of its most successful season.
"Sharonda has worked so hard and come so far," said Coach Larkin. "We are so proud of her and know she will continue to grow under Coach Botsford."
November 4, 2016
Congrats to Brianna Stowell who was selected to the All-State Team. Brianna is a 2-yr starter at the setter position who led the Lady Hawks to a 3rd place finish at the NJCAA National Championships in 2015 and a final ranking of #12 in the 2016 NJCAA National Poll. We're proud of you!
"Bri finishes as one of the best setters to come through HCC," remarked Larkin. "And that is a pretty special group."
October 28, 2016
Congratulations to Brianna Stowell, Abbie O'Ferrell, and Sharonda Pickering who were named 1st Team All Conference.
Congratulations to Larra Bickelhaupt and Qui'yona Salmon who were named 2nd Team All Conference.
We are so proud of you!
October 27, 2016
HCC Volleyball's final home match resulted in an impressive sweep of Webber International JV.
The Lady Hawks hit .630 and passed 2.6. The sophomores led the way jumping out to a 2-0 set lead. The freshmen helped close out the match, winning set 3.
"There was great energy out there tonight," said Larkin. "The freshmen and Coach Monica made the sophomores feel very special all day. We played inspired tonight."
The Hawks were led by Abbie O'Ferrell's 16 kills, Brianna Stowell's 39 assists, Sharonda Pickering's .800 hitting percentage, and Larra Bickelhaupt's 2.9 serve reception. Madara Bajare chipped in 5 kills and had a highlight crosscourt swing.
"It is a special group of players," continued Larkin. "All five played a large role throughout the year. It'll be rewarding to watch their future successes on and off the court."
HCC finished the season being ranked 12th nationally in the final NJCAA poll and playing their best volleyball.
"It's a little sad," reflected Captain Brianna Stowell. "This team is so talented and tough. I love these girls, and I'll never forget our time together."
Larra Bickelhaupt added, "We were prepared to play anyone, anywhere, at any time. We still are!"
Abbie O'Ferrell continued, "Sports teaches us life lessons. My teammates will not only have extraordinary volleyball careers, but also live extraordinary lives."
The Lady Hawks conclude the season 21-9, 5-3.
October 26, 2016
HCC finished #12 in the last NJCAA national poll but concluded the conference season with a heartbreaking loss to Polk State. The loss knocks HCC to 3rd place, missing the FCSAA tournament.
HCC lost two sets 24-26 on way to a 1-3 defeat.
"The volleyball was intense and high level," explained Larkin. "A break here or there and who knows..."
The Lady Hawks were led by Abbie's 19 kills, Brianna's 55 assists, Sharonda's 14 kills and 3 blocks, and Larra's 21 digs. Madara also chipped in 13 kills.
"We hit and passed for a high percentage, but our serving could have been better," continued Larkin. "It was a heroic effort, and we came up just short."
The Lady Hawks will celebrate their sophomore class Thursday night at home at 6pm. Come join the fun!
The Hawks stand at 20-9, 5-3.
October 18, 2016
October 15, 2016
October 8, 2016
With weather emergencies around the state, HCC finally got to suit up this Saturday as they hosted SFSC. *The Lady Hawks wish all those affected by the storm good health, safety, and a speedy return to normalcy.
In set 1, The Panthers played the Hawks tight, holding a commanding lead late in the game.
"They were playing very well," said Coach Larkin and we were high error-- that's a rough combo."
The Hawks roared back, fighting off multiple Panther set points and closed out the first set 27-25.
"That kind of confidence and resilience is special," continued Larkin. "That turned the tide for sure."
Shortly thereafter the Lady Hawks took commanding leads then comfortably closed out sets 2 and 3.
HCC was led by setter Brianna Stowell's balanced attacked. She dished out 18 kills to the MBs, 7 kills to the opposites, 13 kills to LSs, and added 3 kills of her own.
MB Sharonda Pickering posted 10 kills and energized the Hawks with 5 blocks.
Opposite Kirah Williams Shephard came off the bench hot, posting 5 kills in 7 attempts.
Overall the Hawks posted 12 total blocks and 29 digs in 3 sets.
"I was pleased and impressed with our defense today," explained Assistant John Babbitt. "When we are coordinated as group, it is a challenge for our opponents... plus Shar was a rock star today."
HCC has a critical week coming up as they face conference opponents at Polk Tuesday night, at SCF Thursday night, and hosts SPC on Saturday.
"What an exciting opportunity," said Larkin. "I love this time of year!"
September 30, 2016
The #6 Lady Hawks lose a heartbreaker at SPC. In their 3rd conference match, the Hawks seemed to have the Titans on the ropes in set 4, but let the opportunity slip away, eventually losing in 5.
"We lacked a killer instinct and they wanted it more," said Coach Larkin. "We missed 11 serves. That kind of showed our hesitancy and inability to execute."
One bright spot was Opp Madara Bajare who had 16 kills and a block.
"Madara has worked hard in practice and been patient," said Larkin. "I was very happy to see her hard work come to fruition."
HCC plays at CF on Saturday afternoon and returns to conference play next Thursday at Polk State.
"Conference matches require courage and an all in mentality. There are no do-overs. We look forward to testing ourselves versus a tough CF team and scratching and clawing our way through the coming conference tests."
HCC is 16-6, 2-1.
September 27, 2016
Congratulations Larra Bickelhaupt - NJCAA Region 8/FCSAA Defensive Player of the Week!
Led HCC to three straight-set victories in three matches played last week.
Averaged 5.1 digs over a total of nine sets and three matches; also averaged 0.3 assists, 0.6 service aces and 0.6 points per set.
Recorded double-figure digs in all three matches - 17 vs. Pasco-Hernando State, 12 vs. South Florida State and 17 vs. State College of Florida.
Also credited with four service aces in the Hawks' 3-0 win over State College of Florida.
September 25, 2016
The Lady Hawks move to 16-5, 2-0 in conference with a straight set win over SCF.
"It was a battle," said Coach Larkin. "We had to scratch and claw in sets 1 and 3. I was impressed with our poise against an aggressive team."
The Hawks were led by setter Briana Stowell's balanced 38 assists and 3 kills, libero Larra Bickelhaupt's 17 digs and 4 aces, MB Sharonda Pickering's 8 kills and 2.5 blocks, and OH Abbie O'Ferrell's 14 kills, 2aces, and 1 block. OH Petra Manderson also chipped in a double double with 10 kills and 10 digs.
Briana explained, "We weren't always perfect, but we were always competitive, and we supported each other very well today."
The Lady Hawks resume conference play on Thursday at SPC at 6pm.
September 22, 2016
The Lady Hawks volleyball team take down two opponents this week.
On Tuesday night, the Hawks traveled to Pasco Hernando State and won in straight sets.
"It's not often you beat Pasco in 3 at their place, so we feel very fortunate," said Larkin.
Abbie O'Ferrell and Kirah Williams-Shephard led the way with 11 pts each. Libero Larra Bickelhaupt anchored the defense with 17 digs.
On Thursday night in Avon Park (Yes, we are logging some miles!), the Lady Hawks swept South Florida State.
"There were some sick digs in that match," said Larkin. "Some of the rallies were really fun to watch."
HCC attacked .410 and posted 6 blocks. Freshman OH Petra Manderson had another solid outing posting 8 kills and hitting .500. Setter Briana Stowell added 6 kills on 8 attempts with no errors and 33 assists.
"We saw improvement in some areas of focus," continued Larkin. "It's very encouraging."
When asked about playing in her first conference match, freshman Opp Kirah said, "I was a little tense at first, but then it was just like playing back in Canada, only warmer."
"We have one conference win," added Abbie O'Ferrell. "Each one matters, so our focus is SCF now."
The Lady Hawks host SCF on Saturday at noon at te Dale Mabry Gymnasium.
The Hawks are 15-5, 1-0.
September 17, 2016
The Lady Hawks bounce back on Saturday sweeping a hot #16 Palm Beach State team that was riding a 11-1 record.
"We swept a good team this morning," said Larkin. "We had some fire and intensity. We're very different when we have that."
RS Kirah had 8 kills, and MBs Qui'yona and Sharonda combined to hit .500 and post 5 blocks.
In the following match, HCC met #11 Daytona for the 3rd time and gutted out a tough 5-set win.
OH Abbie had 19 points, RS Madara had 10.5, and Sharonda had 10 in the win. Setter Briana ran the show with 37 assists and added 4 kills.
"Daytona had great fighting spirit today. Mada came in and provided a lift with some big swings and some blocks."
The Lady Hawks posted 10.5 blocks in total.
"What a fun and wild ride," remarked Larkin. "My redshirt freshman Blake had to restrain me from tackling one of our players at one point."
When asked about it, Blake said, "Coach is a lot more nimble than he looks. He almost got by me. Luckily, I'm a yellow belt in Hapkido, so I had it covered."
The Lady Hawks move to 13-5. HCC faces Pasco State in Newport Richey on Tuesday night and is busy preparing for conference play.
"Our conference is excellent," said Coach Monica. "It'll take all 14 girls paddling in unison to move down the river to the promise land."
September 17, 2016
The Lady Hawks continue their roller coaster ride and take lumps on day 1 of the Polk State Invitational.
The day started with sweep by Miami Dade.
"We were never in this one," said Larkin. "We had trouble staying in system and lacked a little fight."
In match two, the Lady Hawks lost in 4 despite serving 7 aces and posting 6.5 blocks to go with a .380 hitting percentage. The Hawks had trouble going from defense to offense, however.
"Girls are pressing. We showed some fight at times, but each player needs to focus on her job and her job only. It was chaotic at times.
HCC got 12 kills by Sharonda, 15 from Abbie, 10 from Kirah, and 9 from Petra, but untimely errors had the Hawks playing from behind most of the night.
"It's all about continued growth and finding the motivation to put up a consistent effort and fighting spirit," added Larkin. "We'll continue to work hard on our areas of need."
On Saturday we face a hot Palm Beach squad and a talented Daytona State team.
The first match is at 12:30 at Polk State and the finale is at 5:30.
The Lady Hawks sit at 10-5.
September 14, 2016
The Lady Hawks bounce back with a straight set win at Daytona State 25-22, 26-24, 25-20.
"I think the team appreciated the privilege to play today," said Larkin, "and they enjoyed playing together."
Abbie O'Ferrell posted a double double with 14 kills and 10 digs. She added 2 blocks and 2 aces. Libero Larra Bickelhaupt posted 15 digs and 3 aces. Setter Briana Stowell added 30 assists, 2 aces, and 3 kills.
"We asked our sophomores to step up, and they all did," said Larkin. "Daytona State will humble you if you are not ready to play. Tonight we played the important points well, largely due to our sophomores' poise."
When asked how the team prepared for the midweek contest, Larra explained, "I'm not sure, but I am sure my teammates know that if we come out flat again, I will attack them like a pack of rabid wolverines after a hunger strike."
(Larra dropped the mic and walked off.)
The Lady Hawks move to 11-3 but must be ready face top competition at the Polk State Invitational.
The Hawks open with Miami Dade at 1:30 and Missouri State West Plains at 6:30 on Friday. The Hawks play Palm Beach at 12:30 and Daytona State at 5:30 on Saturday.
September 7, 2016
HCC Volleyball falls from 3rd to 5th in the NJCAA National Poll despite going 6-0 last week, including 5 on the road in Texas.
"We are who we are," explained Coach Larkin. "A favorable or unfavorable poll isn't going to change that. Our focus is getting better."
The Hawks extended their win streak to 7 after defeating Webber International JV in straight sets on Wednesday night.
The Lady Hawks recorded 10 blocks and 8 aces. The team was led by current state player of the week Abbie O'Ferrell who posted 9 kills, 2.5 blocks, 2 aces, and 10 digs.
"Abbie fills the stat sheet," said Coach Larkin as he dined on a delicious smoked turkey sandwich from Fat Boys BBQ on the way home. (*He washed it down with water because... well, you should.)
Madara Bajare also stepped up with 7 kills and a .460 hitting percentage.
On taking advantage of her start tonight, Madara noted, "I always prepare to be ready. Like the battery... you know... Eveready."
The Lady Hawks travel to Santa Fe College EARLY Saturday morning to face host Santa Fe at 10am and Eastern Florida State at noon.
The Hawks are currently 10-1.
September 7, 2016
Congrats to Sophomore OH Abigail O'Ferrell for being named this weeks FCSAA Player of the Week!
NJCAA Region 8/FCSAA Volleyball Player of the Week Abigail O’Ferrell, Hillsborough Sophomore – OH Labelle, Fla.
•Led Hillsborough to a perfect 6-0 record, including five wins at San Jacinto College’s Military Appreciation Classic
•Averaged 4.2 kills, 1.9 digs, 0.5 blocks and 4.9 points over 18 total sets
•Posted double-digit kills in her first four matches of the week, including 21 in a five-set win over NJCAA No. 13 Santa Fe, 19 in a straight-set win over No. 7 Blinn and 16 in a straight-set win over No. 14 Panola
September 5, 2016
HCC Volleyball went 5-0 on their recent trip to Houston, TX.
The Hawks started by defeating #7 Blinn in straight sets on Thursday night. They followed that up with two more wins, a sweep over previously unbeaten #14 Panola and a 4-set defeat of host San Jacinto.
On Saturday, the Lady Hawks took down North Central Texas in 4 sets and sweeping Northeastern from Colorado.
"I was very impressed by our sustained effort, resilience, and focus," said Larkin. "Our sophomore leaders Bri, Abbie, Larra, and Sharonda enforced our culture this weekend."
When asked if she was surprised by the team's performance, Sharonda said, "Not really. We know we have the potential to play consistently. We have a way to go, but this weekend we bonded and grew as a team."
Abbie O'Ferrell led all attackers this past week with 75 total kills.
"Our defense came alive in Texas," continued Larkin. "It was a missing piece, but we are making strides."
HCC travels to play Webber U. JV on Wednesday night at 6pm.
August 31, 2016
The #3 Lady Hawks outlast #13 the Santa Fe Saints to win in 5.
The Hawks were led by Abbie O'Ferrell's 21 kills and 4 aces.
"Abbie was a warrior tonight," said Larkin. "On a night when we were a bit out of sync, she bailed us out in critical moments. It was a fantastic battle versus the Saints."
Petra Manderson posted 12 kills and Qui'yona Salmon added 11.
The team hit .330 and passed a 2.4 but struggled from the service line committing 13 errors.
Setter Brianna Stowell recorded 55 assists in the win.
MB Qui'yona explained, "We have to stay aggressive. We haven't played our best yet. It's a long race. If we're going to be the tortoise, we just have to get a jet pack!"
The Hawks move to 4-1 and leave for Houston, Texas on Thursday (weather permitting).
August 27, 2016
The Lady Hawks split matches on day 2 of the Kickoff Classic to finish 3-1.
HCC started the day by sweeping Daytona State. The Hawks were led by Abbie O'Ferrell's 14 pts, Sharonda Pickering's 10 pts, and Kirah Shepard-Williams 9.5 pts. Brianna Stowell added 7.5.
"We had a nice flow going," said Coach Larkin. "Bri ran a balanced offense, and we played some feisty defense in spurts."
The afternoon wasn't as kind to the Lady Hawks as they were swept by #10 CF.
"They were ready to battle, and we weren't," added Larkin. "A bad loss like that can inspire practice energy. We'll use what we learned and continue to grow."
When asked about the weekend as a whole, sophomore libero Larra Bickelhaupt said, "It's a whole lot cooler to control tempo than to chase it. We have to stop singing it and start bringing it."
The Lady Hawks will face #13 Santa Fe on Tuesday night at HCC at 6pm. Come cheer on your Lady Hawks!
August 27, 2016
The #3 Lady Hawks started the season by going 2-0 Friday at the HCC kickoff classic.
"We are a work in progress," explained Coach Larkin, "but everyday we learn valuable lessons."
In the first match versus local rival SPC, the Lady Hawks prevailed 22-25, 25-23, 25-19, 25-18. HCC was led by Abbie O'Ferrell's double double of 17 kills and 12 digs. The team posted 13.5 blocks with Sharonda Pickering leading the way with 3.5.
"We started slow, but finished strong," said Larkin. "I was happy to see the blocking come around."
In match 2, HCC defeated #11 Indian River State 21-25, 25-16, 25-19, 28-26. The Hawks posted 13 more blocks. Yali Li and Sharonda Pickering each had 3.5. Abbie again led all point scorers with 18 kills.
"After coming out flat, we picked it up again. Many players contributed while we searched for a competitive lineup," said Larkin. "Closing out tight last set showed some character."
Next up is Daytona State, who knocked off #6 Polk State, and #10 CF.
When asked if the team is excited and ready for day 2, Chinese MB Yali Li smiled and said, "Um, Yes!"
May 23, 2016
The Lady Hawks would like to congratulate Abbie O'Ferrell who has decided to play for Coach Michelle Piantadosi and Eckerd College in 2017. We're so proud of you!
"Abbie's intangibles are off the charts," said Coach Larkin. "She and Eckerd are an excellent fit, and I know both will benefit from the relationship."
Abbie and the Lady Hawks begin the 2016 campaign on August 1st. Competition begins at the Lady Hawk Invitational on Friday August 26th.
May 22, 2016
Congratulations to Cherlie Adorno DeJesus who was named the Suncoast Conference Female Scholar Athlete. Way to go. We're proud of you!
May 18, 2016
Shayna Filippelli commits to the Lewis University Flyers. We are so proud of you and excited to watch you at the next level.
Shayna is the final sophomore to commit to a 4-year university. Good luck, Ladies. Work hard and enjoy the experience!
May 6, 2016
HCC Volleyball would like to welcome Latvian 6'2" Opp/MB Madara Bajare to the Lady Hawks family. Madara comes to us from CF after playing one season there.
"Madara is a great person who will fit in nicely," said Larkin. "She has a heavy arm and a high volleyball IQ as well as a desire to improve. We are excited to have her."
March 31, 2016
Congratulations to All-American Libero Cherlie Adorno Dejesus who committed to the Tennessee State University Tigers. We are so proud of you and can't wait to watch you compete at the next level!
March 24, 2016
HCC Volleyball was very honored to be invited to the Tampa City Council Meeting to receive a commendation. We are so proud of our student athletes!
March 17, 2016
HCC would like to welcome Blake Evans from Chicago Elite Volleyball Club to the Hawks family. Blake is a hard working and athletic MB with an infectious personality.
"Blake will spend her first year training to adjust to the college game. We love her upside, and she projects to be a high potential transfer after her 2018 season," said Larkin.
Blake comes to us from the same volleyball club as HCC standout Dominique Mason. The Chicago ties remain strong.
March 16, 2016
HCC is pleased to announce the commitment of Lucia Alvarez Cartamil of Gijon, Spain. Lucia is a setter with vast experience and a tremendous drive to grow.
March 2, 2016
Congratulations to Dominique Mason who has committed to Seton Hall University. We are so proud of you!
January 29, 2016
Congrats to Erika Zembyla who has committed to UAB! We are so proud of you!
January 14, 2016
It's official. Petra is signed! Welcome to the family!
January 10, 2016
The Lady Hawks are excited to announce the signing of Kirah Williams-Shephard from Scarborough Ontario. Kirah is a 6' Opp who played for L'Amoreaux Collegiate Institute and the Toronto Diamonds Volleyball Club. She has captained her school to a city championship and has earned medals in national various tournaments.
"Kirah has the potential to be a huge point scorer for us at the opposite position," said Larkin. "She is explosive and terminal and has a high ceiling. We can't wait to watch her grow into a collegiate player during her time here."
Kirah has also earned the Ontario Volleyball Award of Excellence. Kirah is the 5th player signed to the 2016 class.
"I love our balance our returning experience and explosive newcomers," said Larkin. "We are working hard to address all needs, and Kirah is one more piece to the puzzle. We all have high expectations for 2016 and are ready to work hard."
January 2, 2016
December 16, 2015
The Lady Hawks would like to welcome 5'9" OH Petra Manderson from Burnside High School in Canterbury, New Zealand. Petra is a multi-sport athlete who plays with the New Zealand National Team.
"Petra brings a great deal of experience and is extremely self-motivated," remarked Coach Larkin. "She is an explosive athlete with a nice balance of seriousness that the coaches will like and fun-loving spirit that her teammates will like. We're excited to work with her."
Petra will be the second New Zealand national to play for the Hawks (Andrea Tauai '13).
Welcome to the family, Petra!
December 16, 2015
Congratulations to Rachell Vargas-Comme who has accepted a scholarship to play for the University of Mary. We are so proud of you!!!
December 9, 2015
The AVCA announced its list for 2-Year College All-Americans. Libero Cherlie Adorno was also named to this impressive group. Way to go, Cherlie!
December 8, 2015
Congratulations to Associate Head Coach Monica Medvid for being named AVCA National Assistant Coach of the Year! It is Monica's second time to win the award. We are all so proud of you!
December 3, 2015
Congratulations to Cherlie Adorno-DeJesus who was named NJCAA 2nd Team All-American! It is HCC's 7th All-American since 2006 and the first HCC Libero to win the honor.
December 1, 2015
CONGRATULATIONS COACH LARKIN!!
AVCA Two-Year College Northeast/Southeast Region Coach of the Year
Gary Larkin, Hillsborough Community College
2015 Record: 34-6
Thirteenth season as the head coach of Hillsborough...Finished the NJCAA National Tournament with a third-place finish...FCSAA State and Suncoast Conference Champions...Larkin won the FCSAA State and Suncoast Conference Coach of the Year...Earned a five seed in the NJCAA National Division I Tournament...This marks his fourth AVCA Region Coach of the Year honor (2008, 2012, 2013).
November 30, 2015
The Lady Hawks will welcome two new players for the 2016 season this spring semester. Qui'yona Salmon is a 6'2" MB from Florida.
"Q has tremendous upside athletically," said Larkin. "It will be nice to acclimate her to the college game this spring."
In addition, HCC welcomes 6'2" MB Yali Li from China.
"Reporting early will greatly help Yali with her academics," said Larkin. "She brings solid fundamentals and excellent work ethic to our roster."
The Lady Hawks are eagerly preparing to make another run at a national championship in 2016. Stay tuned!
November 24, 2015
The Lady Hawks returned from Casper with the Bronze trophy and an impressive 3rd place finish.
HCC left Tampa with lots of support from Fox 13, Channel 10, the St. Pete Times, and all their family, friends, and fans. The pressure was on to win matches at the 2015 National Championships.
Upon arrival in Casper, Wyoming, the Florida girls quickly acclimated to the altitude, snow, wind, and cold.
"I didn't want to go outdoors. Literally," explained British Virgin Islands resident, Sharonda Pickering.
The #5 seeded Hawks first met #12 Wallace State.
"To be honest, I was most nervous before this match," said Larkin. "Getting off on the right foot is tremendously important at this event."
It was Coach Larkin's 7th time to take an HCC team to the national championships, and he didn't need to worry. The Lady Hawks jumped all over Wallace State, sweeping them in straight sets.
HCC was led by freshman setter Briana Stowell who posted 30 assists, 8 kills, and 4 aces.
In round 2, HCC faced #4 seed Iowa Western. It was a quarterfinal rematch as HCC faced The Reivers in 2013. The Lady Hawks showed everyone they were for real by surprising IWCC with another straight set sweep. The Hawks were led by Abigail O'Ferrell's double double (12 kills, 12 digs) and Erika Zembyla's 13 kills. Libero Cherlie Adorno also posted over 7 digs per set in the contest.
"We were really good," remarked Larkin. "We hit for a higher percentage, blocked for more points, and dug more balls. It was a total team effort."
When asked about the result, sophomore OH Dominique Mason said, "It feels really good to be respected. Everybody is good here, and we showed we belong. We played with one heartbeat today. It was so much fun."
In the semis, the Lady Hawks were to face tourney favorite #1 seed College of Southern Idaho, winners of 10 national championships
HCC stumbled in this round, struggling to get in rhythm or slow the nation's best middle attack. HCC lost to the eventual champion in 3 sets.
"We were a little wide-eyed," said Larkin. "We had trouble siding out and let them dictate tempo."
With an opportunity to rebound, the Lady Hawks faced local favorite #3 seed Northwest from Wyoming.
"We knew we had to quiet the crowd," said Erika Zembyla. "They had a bunch of fans traveling with them. Midway through the match, I could only hear Jason and Lisa (Larkin)."
HCC played the Trappers even in the first set but failed to put them away, narrowly losing 23-25. Everything changed in set 2.
"It was HCC volleyball from set 2 on," explained Larkin. "We defended extremely well and had a balanced attack. Erika was nearly perfect, and players took care of their individual responsibilities."
HCC only allowed 13, 17, and 16 points respectively to one of the best teams in the nation in their home state. The Lady Hawks had 3 players in double digit kills (Mason 16, Zembyla 15, O'Ferrell 11). HCC also out-blocked Northwest 8 to 4 and out-hit their opponent .348 to .167.
Sophomore Captain Adorno said, "I am just so proud of this team and to be a Hawk right now. This is why I came here. To play at this level with a team that feels like a family is just amazing."
HCC took home the Bronze and for the first time in school history placed two players on the prestigious All-tournament team (Cherlie Adorno and Erika Zembyla).
"What a way to end," said Larkin. "This group is so close and worked so hard. I am so proud of how they represented our program. Anyone who saw us in August knows that these players were relentless in their drive to improve and succeed. You don't easily find the character that these girls have."
HCC finished 34-6 and matched the programs best national finish. In 2015, the Lady Hawks won a conference championship, a district championship, a state championship, and the bronze at the national championship.
When asked what's next, Stowell said, "I'm going to Disney World. Seriously. I'm from Orlando, so I'm going to Disney World."
November 22, 2015
Laura Rojas officially signs with the Lady Hawks! Whoop whoop!
November 18, 2015
Check out the Lady Hawks on Channel 10 News!! AWESOME!!
November 9, 2015
Co-NJCAA Region 8/FCSAA Volleyball Player of the Week Abigail O’Ferrell, Hillsborough
Freshman – OH
·Led Hillsborough to the NJCAA District/FCSAA State Championship and was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player ·Averaged 4.3 kills and 3.6 digs in 11 total sets over three matches
·Posted double-doubles vs. Palm Beach State (18 kills, 18 digs) and Polk State (10 kills, 14 digs)
Had a .321 hitting percentage
November 8, 2015
The Lady Hawks are FCSAA State Champions!
The #8 Lady Hawks defeated #9 Polk State in straight sets. Freshman Abbie O'Ferrell was named the Tournament's Most Outstanding Player. Sophomores Cherlie Adorno and Erika Zembyla were also named to the All-State Tournament Team. Coach Larkin was named the Mary Andrews FCSAA Coach of the Year.
"We felt pretty good about the match-up," said Coach Larkin. "The programs know each other well and have a fun and spirited rivalry. The players are all friendly, so Polk v. HCC matches often bring out the best in the players."
Abbie O'Ferrell and Erika Zembyla both posted double doubles. Dominique Mason added double digit kills. Iris Sietsma also came alive, adding 11 kills out of the MB position.
"Our setter Briana [Stowell] had a true bounce back match," said Larkin. "I was so proud of her. She felt she had much more in her after yesterday's match. On a very big stage today, she showed us all."
The Hawks serve reception was strong today as well.
"I can't say enough about Cherlie, Abbie, and Erika anchoring our serve receive," continued Larkin. "It is a very difficult skill, and they showed great poise and skill against a good serving team."
When asked how the Assistant Coaches reacted after the big win, Larra said, "John was 'calm,' and Monica made T-shirts."
The Lady Hawks moved to 31-5, 7-1 and have earned a trip to Casper Wyoming. The NJCAA National Championships begin November 19th.
November 7, 2015
The Lady Hawks punched their ticket to the NJCAA National Championships! HCC defeated Palm Beach State in 5 sets in the Gulf District Final.
"Palm Beach played fearless," said Larkin. "We got past a tough opponent today. I love that when our backs are against the wall, we never quit or surrender. Our players have such amazing character."
When HCC was good they were good, controlling sets 1 and 4 easily. Perhaps it was the magnitude of the moment, but the Lady Hawks played a little careful in sets 2 and 3.
Erika Zembyla noted, "We may have been overthinking it a bit out there. Sometimes you just have to let it fly. It was cool we picked each other up when we needed it."
In the pivotal set 5, HCC found themselves down 8-11. That was when Sharonda Pickering changed the momentum with a few pivotal blocks.
"My girl Sharonda brought the pain," said Sophomore Shayna Fillipelli. "She showed up when we needed her most."
The Lady Hawks were led by Abbie O'Ferrell's 18 kills and 18 digs and Dominique Mason's 18 kills.
HCC plays conference foe Polk State for the FCSAA State Championship on Sunday. Both schools will represent Region 8 in Casper, WY regardless of the outcome.
"What a great day for the Suncoast Conference," said Larkin. "Polk and HCC played tough schedules and worked hard to get here. Being on top of such a competitive region is an honor. We're happy for both programs."
Good luck tomorrow, ladies, and Go Hawks!!
November 6, 2015
The Lady Hawks swept Daytona state on Friday to advance to the final four. HCC will face Palm Beach State at 10am on Saturday.
"Daytona is a difficult match-up for us," said Larkin. "We are pleased to advance. We have great respect for them."
HCC jumped out to a commanding two-set lead but found themselves down 24-21 in set three. After an interesting call to give the Falcons match point and a subsequent lively exchange of ideas, the Hawks found themselves staring at a fourth set. HCC, however, made a furious rally winning 5 points in a row to win 26-24.
"It showed tremendous character," remarked Larkin.
When asked about the comeback in set 3, Abbie O'Ferrell said, "Funny things happen in volleyball. We know anything is possible and just keep fighting to the final whistle."
HCC was led by Abbie O'Ferrell's 19 kills and Erika Zembyla's 14 kills. Briana Stowell dished out 41 assists, and Cherlie Adorno paced the defense with 14 digs.
HCC moved to 29-5, 7-1 on the season.
November 4, 2015
Check out the article from Fox News. Go Hawks!!
October 31, 2015
The Lady Hawks finished the regular season in style by sweeping Florida State College at Jacksonville and Florida College.
OH Abbie O'Ferrell led the way with 12 kills and a hitting percentage of .460 is the first match and 12 kills and hitting percentage of .550 in the second match. She also posted 16 digs and 3 aces on the day.
"Abbie was outstanding today," said Coach Larkin. "She had 1 error on 46 total attempts. She has to clean up broken plays and hit a lot of out of system balls for us, so that is pretty remarkable."
When asked about her performance, Abbie said, "It felt good. Our team had a little rhythm going. I was seeing the court well and comfortable changing speeds. We especially needed that against a tough Florida College defense."
Abbie received a 2.35 to go with her recorded stats.
"In many ways, Abbie is the unsung hero this year," explained Larkin. "She quietly anchors our serve receive with Cherlie and Erika. She is second on the team in digs and reads plays before they occur. She is one of our top servers and third on the team in kills. She does it all."
Friday was also the last official day that Shayna, Cherlie, Erika, Dom, and Rachell will take the court at the Dale Mabry Gym.
Shayna commented, "This team is so close. I guess it was a little sad today, but we are super excited about States next week."
HCC travels to Pensacola on Wednesday and after a banquet on Thursday begins play on Friday. The first opponent is Daytona State.
HCC Volleyball would like to thank Assistant Coach and grill master John as well as all the friends and family who contributed to our pot luck lunch between matches. We loved sharing the day with you all, and the food was delicious. We will see you all in Pensacola!
HCC is 28-5, 7-1.
October 28, 2015
Congratulations to Cherlie Adorno, Dominique Mason, Erika Zembyla, and Briana Stowell who were selected to the Suncoast Conference All-conference First Team.
In addition, congratulations to Abbie O'Ferrell and Iris Sietsma who were selected to the Suncoast Conference All-conference Second Team.
We're proud of you all!
Head Coach Gary Larkin was named Suncoast Conference Coach of the Year. It is his 5th time to earn the honor.
October 27, 2015
HCC moved up to 1st in the Region 8 / FCSAA Poll. Last week the Lady Hawks were 2nd. The NJCAA National Poll comes out on Wednesday.
Congratulations to Dominique Mason for earning Player of the Week!
NJCAA Region 8/FCSAA Volleyball Player of the Week Dominique Mason, Hillsborough
Sophomore – Outside Hitter Chicago, Ill.
Helped Hillsborough to a 4-0 week, a pair of wins over nationally-ranked opponents and the Suncoast Conference Championship
Averaged 3.4 kills, 1.7 digs, 0.1 service aces and 3.7 points per set (13 total sets) while tallying a .265 hitting percentage
Three consecutive double-digit matches in kills – beginning with 14 (and three digs) vs. Central Florida (October 19). Added 12 kills and six digs in a 3-0 win over Polk State (October 22) and 13 kills and six digs vs. South Florida State one day later to clinch the SuCon Championship
Currently fourth in Region 8 in kills (362) and 11th in kills/set (3.12)
The Lady Hawks defeat Broward in 3 sets to go 26-5 on the season.
"We hit .410 as a team, so we were able to put them on their heels," said Coach Babbitt.
The Lady Hawks begin preparations for the state tournament immediately. They will see Daytona State in Round 1.
"We're so excited to get after it in training," said Coach Medvid. "The post-season is an opportunity."
HCC will host Florida College at Jacksonville and Florida College on Friday with play starting at noon. Rumor is there might be some delicious food in between matches...
October 23, 2015
The Lady Hawks sweep South Florida State and clinch the Suncoast Conference Championship! HCC entered the match needing to defeat SFSC and to get a little help from SCF. With a potential tie for first place in conference the 6-1 Lady Hawks anticipated a playoff game versus 6-1 Polk State next Tuesday. Luckily for the Hawks, the Eagles lost a 5-set thriller to the Manatees, leaving the Hawks in sole possession of first place.
"The level of play in our conference is outstanding," said Larkin. "Any of our conference rivals can win on any given night. We had our hands full, and I'm sure it was a battle in Bradenton."
After a ceremonial first serve by sophomore Rachell Vargas-Comme, the Lady Hawks jumped out to a lead early. SFSC battled all the way back before losing a close first set 23-25. In set 2, HCC took control and won easily 25-11. In set 3, after some back and forth play, the Lady Hawks were able to prevail 25-18.
"Sophomore Night is always a challenge as routines are broken, and distractions occur," said Larkin. "I thought our team handled it well. Our sophomores led us out tonight. Sophomore setter Shayna Filippelli made the most of her start, creating a nice offensive flow. She is a local product, so she had a nice fan club. At one point, it sounded like a Taylor Swift concert."
Shayna posted 30 assists and 2 kills. Dominique Mason posted 13 kills, and Iris Sietsma added 9 kills and 3 blocks.
When asked if she was satisfied with the team's performance during conference play, Erika Zembyla commented, "Yes, of course! We are so pleased to hang another banner and leave a legacy. And we always want to play hard for our fans. We are so happy we could clinch tonight at home for them and for all those watching online. ...Hi, Mom!"
After anchoring the team's serve receive and defense for two years and being nationally ranked throughout that time, libero Cherlie Adorno discussed the future: "Well, we have a match tomorrow, so that is most important. After that, we will get back to work and train hard. We have not met all our goals yet."
"Hard work pays off, " said Larkin. "I grow more impressed by our players every day, and I am honored to be a part of the State Championship Tournament."
Perhaps Superfan and Academic Advisor Jason Wilson best summed up the Hawks' fortunate night: "Woot, woot!"
HCC is currently 25-5, 7-1. The team travels to Daytona State where they will face Broward on a neutral court.
October 22, 2015
#9 HCC swept #5 Polk State in 3 in Lakeland to earn a share of the conference lead.
"It was a lot closer than the scores suggest," said Larkin. "Their program is excellent, and the players all know each other. It is always a battle, not to mention they probably have the state player of the year on the roster."
HCC took the first set 25-15, but the Eagles fought back in set 2 and posted a 5 point lead late. The Hawks never quit, however, and tied it at 24, eventually prevailing 27-25. The Hawks regained control in set 3 and completed the sweep 25-18.
"We are playing much better as a team," said Dominique Mason. "We have work to do, but we are at our best when we trust and rely on each other."
Abbie O'Ferrell posted another double double, 14 kills and 15 digs. Libero Cherlie Adorno posted 20 digs and received well. Dominique Mason, Iris Sietsma, and Erika Zembyla rounded out a balanced attack with 12, 9, and 8 kills respectively.
"We didn't block a ton of balls [6 total], but Sharonda [Pickering] came up with two big ones at the end," added Larkin.
Come join the Lady Hawks as they celebrate Sophomore Night tomorrow at 6pm at the Dale Mabry Gym.
HCC is 24-5, 6-1.
October 19, 2015
The #9 Lady Hawks win a thriller on the road at #10 Central Florida!
After dropping a lopsided first set, the Hawks repaid the favor by winning set 2 easily. Set 3 went to CF as they stepped up their backcourt defense, and then set 4 went to the Hawks on the back of 7 blocks.
"Both teams played tough defense tonight," said Larkin. "Kills were hard to come by at times."
In set 5, the teams traded points, but the Lady Hawks went up 8-7 at the changeover. Then HCC never looked back, finishing the set and the match, 15-9.
"It was a funky match tonight," reflected Larkin. "We all rode the same rollercoaster. CF at home is a tough test. I wanted our players to experience the pressure."
Abbie O'Ferrell recorded another double double with 13 kills and 11 digs. Dominique Mason added 14 kills and Erika Zembyla added 10 kills.
HCC also had a program record 17 blocks, led by Iris Sietsma's 5 and Sharonda Pickering's 5.5. The team passed a 2.5 in serve receive, and Cherlie Adorno led all players with 30 digs.
"Blocking is key for us," said Larkin. "When we block, we win. On the flip side, when we pass a 2.5, I expect our offense to be more creative and our attackers to be more terminal. We sometimes have to make two or three digs before we end the point."
The Lady Hawks hit .250 for the match.
"That's a little below our team average but CF's defense had something to do with that," said Larkin.
Freshman Arielle Allen, who played a DS role, was asked how it felt to play in a hostile environment on the road.
"It was pretty cool." she said smiling.
"It was a lot like playing at home except... we had to take a bus there... their fans were in the stands... we had to use the visitor locker room... and we were "Guest" on the scoreboard. Other than that it was pretty much the same," quipped Arielle.
The Lady Hawks travel to Polk State Thursday night for a critical conference match at 6:00.
Also mark your calendars for Sophomore Night Friday at 6pm at the Dale Mabry Gymnasium.
HCC moves to 23-5, 5-1.
October 16, 2015
The Lady Hawks win a 7th in a row and punch their ticket to the FCSAA State Tournament in Pensacola!
HCC jumped all over SCF in sets 1 and 2, winning 25-12, 25-4. The Manatees didn't quit however and turned the tables in set 3. After falling well behind, the Hawks battled all the way back to make a game of it, finally losing 24-26.
"SCF showed great character as expected," said Larkin. "Our team went off script and lost its way for a while, but I was proud of the way our players fought back. We were in position to steal set 3 and fell just short."
In set 4, both teams battled back and forth. In the end, HCC made a few more plays and prevailed 25-23. Dominique Mason had a strong match with 21 kills and a block.
"There was a lot riding on the match tonight," said Larkin. "We were playing a rival on the road with a chance to clinch a post-season berth. Dom stepped up at the right time, and I'm so happy for those girls."
The Lady Hawks served 8 aces against 1 error for the match.
When asked how it feels to earn a trip to states, Dominique replied, "Amazing. A lot of hard work went into getting to this point. A lot of hard work will be needed to take the next step. Our best is yet to come."
On Monday, the Lady Hawks travel to Ocala to face CF and then conclude conference play with Thursday and Friday matches.
HCC is 22-5, 5-1.
October 14, 2015
Congratulations to Briana Stowell for being named NJCAA Volleyball Player of the Week!
October 14, 2015
HCC Volleyball alumnus Brittany Wilson Wade made the St. Pete Times today as she prepares Durant High School for the district tournament. Way to go, Britt!
October 13, 2015
The Lady Hawks win their 21st! HCC got revenge against the Quistas, sweeping them Tuesday night. In September, PHSC fought back from 0-2 to push the match to a 5th set before falling to the Lady Hawks in 5. This time around, the Lady Hawks took care of business and closed the match confidently.
HCC was led by Abbie O'Ferrell's double double, posting 14 kills and 11 digs. Abbie also added a block and an ace.
"Abbie 3-option passed some really tough serves tonight and hit .620," said Larkin. "She's playing at a whole different level."
HCC also got 11 kills from Dominique Mason who hit .500. Middle Blockers Rachell Vargas and Iris Sietsma also hit for high percentages and contributed 10 total kills.
"Our freshman setter Briana is starting to run the offense the way we envision it," continued Larkin. "I think she is playing with confidence now, and her teammates sense it."
Briana Stowell's performance was well-timed as she was just named NJCAA National Player of the Week.
Libero Cherlie Adorno led the Lady Hawks on defense with 16 digs.
Holding a quality opponent like the Lady Conquistadors to an .096 hitting percentage is no easy feat. When asked what changed from the first PHSC match to the second, OH Abbie O'Ferrell explained, "We don't hope we'll play well anymore; we expect it."
After playing the first match with flu symptoms and needing to see the trainer before boarding the bus in September, Abbie said that this match was gratifying. "It felt good to play on live legs," she said. "Last time I might as well have been playing in quicksand or oatmeal or marshmallow fluff or grits or mashed potatoes or... well you get the picture."
The Lady Hawks next play at SCF on Friday at 7pm in a crucial conference match.
HCC is 21-5, 4-1.
October 11, 2015
Congrats to Erika Zembyla who earned AVSR Global's Player of the Week. Way to go!
Week #7: Player of the Week
Hillsborough Community College (Florida)
Reported to subscribers in 2013.
Home: Nicosia, Cyprus.
Sophomore, 5'11" Opposite and Outside Hitter.
Last Week: Zembyla exploded for 59 kills in five wins, lifting Hillsborough to a 20-5 record.
Congratulations to Briana Stowell who earned FCSAA Regional Setter of the Week. Keep it up!
NJCAA Region 8/FCSAA Volleyball Setter of the Week Briana Stowell, Hillsborough, Freshman, Orlando, Fla.
The #14 Lady Hawks cap a tough week by taking two in Palm Beach and going 5-0.
On Saturday, the Hawks first faced host #13 Palm Beach State. HCC jumped out to a 2-set lead. In set 3, however, HCC let a late 10-point lead go to force a 4th set.
"Give credit to Palm Beach for never giving up. Their staff is excellent, so I wasn't surprised." said Larkin. "As for us, we can be be better closing out sets. Our players are problem solving. They got this."
The Hawks avenged set 3 by winning 25-18. Erika Zembyla led all scorers with 18.5 points, including 16 kills on .440 hitting. The team also posted 13 total blocks.
When asked about the win after a 5:00am wake-up call to meet the bus, Erika said, "I got so amped because the warm-up music was just like Cyprus music! I know our coaches loved it too!"
In match 2, HCC faced #12 Indian River State who has been consistent all year. Again the Lady Hawks started strong, taking set 1, but the River bounced back taking set 2.
When asked what was said before set 3 to inspire the team, Cherlie Adorno said, "Well, Abbie's grandmother baked cookies. She bakes some serious cookies. One more bad set and those cookies may have been at risk!"
HCC took sets 3 and 4, 25-22, 25-17 to close out the match. The Hawks were led by their three pin players, Abbie, Dom, and Erika who posted 14, 16, 15 kills respectively. The team posted 11.5 total blocks, passed 2.5, and hit .330.
"I was pleased with the stats," said Larkin. "It was a complete match versus a quality opponent. We're getting there."
HCC earned its 10th 20-win season since 2003, moving to 20-5, 4-1.
HCC next faces PHSC on Tues night at HCC at 7pm.
October 9, 2015
The Lady Hawks sweep the conference series from SPC this season, winning at home 3-0.
"SPC is always a battle," said Larkin. "We are very happy we came away with two wins this year. They have a talented roster."
The Titans started tough battling all the way to set one and leading 24-23 at one point. The Lady Hawks rattled off 3 straight points to take the set. Sets 2 and 3 weren't as close with the Hawks prevailing 25-14, 25-17.
"Abbie was outstanding. She had 13 kills with no errors on 27 attempts. She also added 3 aces," said Larkin.
When asked how she felt about posting yet another double double this year, Abbie joked, "What's that?"
When pressed further she added, "We measure ourselves by the team performance and wins. I'm just happy we got the win."
Rachell Vargas Comme also provided a spark, coming off the bench to post 2.5 blocks.
"Rachell entered the game and made an immediate impact," said Larkin. "She had some blocks, but she also had a bunch of tags and was in position defensively when we needed it. It was a good night for her."
The Lady Hawks move to 18-5 and 4-1 in conference. In the morning, they travel to Palm Beach State to play two nationally ranked teams from the Southern Conference.
October 8, 2015
The Lady Hawks improve to 3-1 in conference with a 4-set victory over South Florida State College. HCC started strong winning set 1, 25-15, but the Panthers jumped on the Hawks in set 2 to even the match.
"SFSC showed great character as always," said Larkin. "They jumped on us in set 2 and played well with the lead. We had to make some adjustments before set 3."
In sets 3 and 4, the Lady Hawks regained control of the match winning both sets by the score 25-10.
"Erika [Zembyla] was solid for us tonight," continued Larkin. "It is easy to see the 15 kills, the .448 hitting percentage, and the 2.5 blocks, but she also made hustle plays, extended rallies, and did things that don't show up on the stat sheet."
The Lady Hawks recorded yet another double digit block performance, posting 12 versus the Panthers. MB Sharonda Pickering led the way, chipping in 6 total blocks.
Freshman setter Briana Stowell was a highlight Thursday night as well. She posted a .750 hitting percentage, killing 6 of 8 tries, to go with 36 assists and 2 aces.
"Coaching freshmen can be about as much fun as juggling porcupines," said Larkin. "Bri has ice in her veins, and she is making steady progress. That's all we can ask."
HCC faces SPC tomorrow (Friday) night at 6pm. Come and support the Lady Hawks AND take part in our Dig Pink breast cancer awareness match.
Let us all DIG deep, SET our minds on defeating breast cancer, and KILL this danger we face today.
HCC sits at 17-5, 3-1 on the season.
October 8, 2015
The Lady Hawks welcome their first addition to the 2016 roster. Libero Laura Rojas from Cypress High School in Orlando, FL has verbally committed to HCC. Laura also plays club ball at Orlando Volleyball Academy.
"Laura is a very mature player and a leader, and she has tremendous instincts," remarked Larkin. "She fit in extremely well with our team on her visit because she is very intense and driven."
Laura will bolster the Hawk defense after the departure of 2-yr starter and nationally ranked libero Cherlie Adorno. The Hawks will return current freshman libero Torrey Smith.
"We have been fortunate to have outstanding liberos and defensive players at HCC over the years," said Larkin. "There are many alumni role models whose pictures hang on our walls. We added another gym rat today, so I know we got better."
HCC Volleyball and the entire HCC community would like to welcome Laura to the Lady Hawk family!
October 7, 2015
The Lady Hawks sweep Florida College to move to 16-5. The Hawks controlled the tempo with strong serving and blocking. The team posted 9 aces and 11 blocks in the 3 sets. Erika Zembyla led all point scorers with 13.5 points including 5 aces.
"Erika filled the stat sheet," said Associate Head Coach Medvid. "She served well, passed well, and attacked for a high percentage."
In her first start of the year MB Sharonda Pickering chipped in 4 blocks and 2 kills on 4 attempts. Libero Cherlie Adorno averaged just under 8 digs per set.
"Briana also attacked well from the setter position tonight adding 6 kills with no errors," said Assistant Coach Babbit. "She seemed in control tonight."
When asked about the victory, Erika remarked, "Coach explained that this team is tough in their home gym, so we wanted to start strong. Our defense was really good tonight."
The Lady Hawks next travel to SFSC on Thursday for a conference match at 6pm. Then on Friday, HCC plays its Dig Pink match at home at 6pm versus SPC.
October 6, 2015
Congrats to Cherlie Adorno! She was named Region 8 Defensive Player of the Week.
NJCAA Region 8/FCSAA Volleyball Defensive Player of the Week Cherlie Adorno DeJesus, Hillsborough
Sophomore – Libero
Toa Boja, Puerto Rico
October 2, 2015
#12 HCC loses a heart breaker in 5 to #9 Polk State. After dropping the first set, largely due to errors, HCC got on script and won the next two easily.
"Between sets 3 and 4, our team was not focused on the task at hand," said Larkin. "I was worried we didn't understand the moment. Unfortunately, it turned out that way."
In set 4, HCC committed too many ball handling errors and let the Eagles hang around. Even so, the Lady Hawks were up 23-21 to close out the match. The mistakes returned, however, and the Eagles took advantage to push a 5th set.
"We had sound preparation and put the team in position to win," lamented Larkin. "We unfortunately snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. We need to be more mature and accountable. When we are, we will be special."
At the end of set 4 and throughout set 5, the Eagles leaned heavily on OH Yue Wu. The Eagles never backed down and never gave up.
"They set [Yue] in the front row and the back row and would have set her in the bathroom if they had to," said Larkin. "We didn't step up and make plays when we needed to."
The loss drops the Hawks to 15-5, 2-1 in the conference. The team plays at Florida College Tuesday night at 7pm.
"It's all about mentoring the girls right. That's what we spend most of our energy on, and those lessons will last a lifetime," concluded Larkin. "The volleyball is there. That's the easy part. It's about maturity and responsibility now."
October 2, 2015
HCC Volleyball was pleased to dedicate its conference victory tonight to support alumnus and HCC baseball player Rick Howroyd who is up in Boston battling and beating cancer. We are proud to be a part of this fundraiser. You are an inspiration to us all, Rick. We are all rickstrong! #rickstrong #Igotu
October 1, 2015
The Lady Hawks take round 2 in conference, defeating SCF in 4 sets. SCF made the match interesting when on the brink of going down 0-2, they served and scored 9 straight points down 17-24 to win 26-24.
"If you coach long enough, you'll see everything," said Coach Larkin. "We called timeouts; we changed setters; we subbed; I even rolled marbles out on the floor during one point," joked Larkin. "I was proud of their resolve and their ability to regain control of the match in set 3. It shows character."
Abbie O'Ferrell played a complete match recording 14 kills, 2 aces, a block, and 14 digs. She served 30 times and received 16 serves. Dominique Mason added 17 kills including 2 big kills to clinch set 4. Libero Cherlie Adorno recorded 29 digs to lead the defense.
When asked about the letdown in set 2, setter Briana Stowell remarked, "We knew what we were doing. We were trying to see if Coach's head would pop off."
The Hawks face another tough test Friday night at HCC at 6pm against Polk State.
"Back to back rivalry matches against quality programs and coaches is a tough challenge," added Larkin. "If we are advance in the post-season, we will have to handle moments like these. It's great for our development."
The Lady Hawks move to 2-0 in conference and 15-4 overall.
September 29, 2015
The Lady Hawks split two matches at the Polk Premier Tourney. HCC faced two tough opponents back to back in MDC and Daytona. MDC was last year's national runner-up and perennial power. HCC was able to close the match in 4 after dropping one set. "It is always emotional to play Miami regardless of their record," said Larkin. We expended some mental energy and then had 30 minutes to turn around and prepare for an eager Daytona team."
The Hawks were led by Erika Zembyla's 19 kills, 1.5 blocks and 3 aces. "Erika was stout for us today," commented Larkin. "She hit for a high percentage and contributed all over the court."
In the follow-up, the Lady Hawks were not as fortunate losing in 3. "We started in a funk and stayed there," said Larkin. "We were unable to maintain focus, but tri-matches down the road and post-season player will require that skill."
Daytona held the Lady Hawks to their lowest hitting percentage on the year and controlled tempo throughout. HCC resumes conference play this Thursday night at HCC at 6pm versus SCF and then plays Polk State on Friday at HCC at 6pm.
"These conference matches are critical, but we intend to dance with the date we brought," said Larkin. "Our sophomores understand the importance and are excited to do battle with our rivals."
#6 HCC is 14-4, 1-0.
September 23, 2015
The Lady Hawks whooped up on their friends from SGA in an Oreo stacking contest , winning a team pizza party! Way to go, girls! Good times! Thanks, Metz!
September 22, 2105
A big thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Bingham for stopping by the SPC away match tonight. They are always so kind and generous to our program. They are the parents of alumnus Emily (2010) who went on to play at USC Upstate (2012) before settling in North Carolina. See you all around the gym soon!
September 22, 2015
The Lady Hawks go on the road and win a tough 5-setter against SPC to start the conference season 1-0.
After dropping the first set, HCC rallied back to win sets 2 and 3. Seemingly in control in set 4, the Hawks let a lead slip away to force set 5. Again, HCC had a commanding lead before the Titans made a push. At 14-13, Larkin called his final timeout. "I looked at Abbie [O'Ferrell], and I told her that I trusted her. I said pick your set and your swing choice," said Larkin.
After the whistle, Abbie moved inside to hit a 2-ball and finished the set confidently. "I was really proud of the way she stepped up in the big moment," continued Larkin. "She earned the swing, and I had no doubt."
Abbie led the attack with 16 kills and held strong in serve receive. The Lady Hawks' block was also strong, blocking the Titans for 14 points. Dominique Mason and Sharonda Pickering posted 5 blocks and 4 blocks respectively.
The Suncoast Conference is powerful this year with three of the five teams in the national poll, four in the state poll, and decorated players on all rosters.
"This was an important road win in a conference that has no easy nights," said Larkin. "We got tougher tonight."
When asked how it feels to leave the gym with a road win, Rachell Vargas Comme replied, "One part rainbows, two parts unicorns, and 1/8 fresh-baked cookies."
13-3 HCC next travels to Polk State to play two matches on Friday against Miami Dade and Daytona. Conference play resumes next week.
September 17, 2015
Congrats to Alumnus Erin Wibert who posted a 16-Kill night helping University of the Cumberlands Patriots extend their win streak to 6 in a row. Way to go, Erin!
September 16, 2015
The Lady Hawks find a way to win at PHSC and improve to 12-3. The Lady Hawks jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but the Quistas fought back to level the match. In the 5th set, HCC took a commanding lead and never looked back, winning 15-10.
"Pasco is a difficult place to play. They have a lot of pride and play well at home," said Larkin. "We had hoped to close it out earlier, but I was extremely happy with our rhythm, decisions, and execution in set 5."
The Lady Hawks were led by Erika Zembyla's 21 kills and team total 15 blocks. Sharonda Pickering in limited action posted 4 blocks, and setter Briana Stowell chipped in 2.5 more.
"We learned a lot about ourselves tonight," continued Larkin. "It was a little like Clint Eastwood's movie The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly. Not to go too crazy with the movie metaphors, but 18-year old players can be a little like a box of chocolates... you never know what you'll get. I was just happy we found some caramels in set 5."
When asked how it felt to play in a hostile environment, freshman OH Arielle Allen said, "Hostile." The Lady Hawks have a break until next Tuesday when conference play begins at 6pm at SPC.
September 15, 2015
The HCC Volleyball Lady Hawks jump to first in this week's state volleyball poll. Currently HCC is 11th in the national poll with the next poll coming out on Wednesday. Go Hawks!September 15, 2015 The FCSAA Volleyball Coaches’ Poll, with number of first-place votes in parentheses, 2015 record, previous ranking and total points in voting by FCSAA volleyball coaches, the FCSAA Volleyball Chair and the FCSAA Scoreboard Coordinator. Rank Team
1. Hillsborough (8) 2. Palm Beach State (4) 3. Santa Fe (3) 4. State College of Florida (1) 5. Central Florida (2)
6. Polk State 7t. Indian River State 7t. Daytona State 9. Miami Dade 10. St. Petersburg
September 12, 2015
Day 2 of the Blinn Premier Tournament was not as kind to the Lady Hawks. HCC came out flat versus #6 IWCC and subsequently lost 3-0. "We struggled at the pins and just couldn't get anything going," said Larkin. "I felt like it was a good matchup for us, but we weren't ready to battle."
In the second match versus #1 Tyler, the Lady Hawks showed some grit. In set 1, the Hawks came from behind to win the first set 27-25, stunning Tyler. "I understood 4-0 was a possibility as was defeating the #1 team in the nation," said Larkin. "The challenge was making our players believe it and then leave it all out on the floor to achieve the goal."
HCC faltered in sets 3 and 4, but stormed back to win set 4, 25-18. Larkin continued, "I was extremely proud of the team's resilience and their ability to focus on the present during set 4." Set 5 proved to be a battle. HCC controlled the tempo and took a 13-11 lead before coming up just short, 13-15. "It was right in front of us. We simply didn't make the plays at the end," said Larkin. "We will grow from it. That type of moment cannot be simulated in practice. All of us will be better next time we're in that position."
HCC blocked well in both matches earning 11 points in each match. Unfortunately, the Lady Hawks committed 13 service errors in the first match and 15 service errors in the second. "I have some magic serving dust, which we will sprinkle on the ball before the whistle," joked Larkin. "We got this little problem covered."
5'4" Libero Cherlie Adorno commented, "It was a tough loss. At first, I didn't want to talk to anyone. I was ready to throw a roundhouse kick or a hammer fist or a barrage of uppercuts... then I realized we are so close! This day will only make us better."
HCC finished the event 2-2 with a win over #8 and losses to #6 and #1. #11 HCC is currently 11-3.
The Lady Hawks face Pasco Tuesday night at 7pm in Newport Richey.
September 11, 2015
HCC Volleyball started off strong at the Blinn Premier Tournament in Brenham, Texas, going 2-0 including a defeat over #8.
The Lady Hawks first defeated Pratt (KS) in straight sets. Erika Zembyla led all scorers with 10 kills, 3 aces, and a block. When asked about the victory, setter Briana Stowell said, "It was waffle power. We made some killer waffles at the hotel before our match."
Well, a trip to Nathan's BBQ for lunch seemed to have a little magic of its own too as the Lady Hawks returned to defeat host and #8 ranked Blinn in the afternoon. "We lost the first set 30-32, so I was worried about the team's mental state," said Larkin. "It can be tough to rally back with the hometown fans, the dance team, and the cheerleading squad motivating the home team. I thought I saw a band of clowns at one point."
HCC put the past behind them and won set 2 convincingly 25-12. "I was proud of our mental fortitude today," said Larkin. "We are starting to understand what it takes to win. I am proud of the team and excited for their future development." HCC went on to win sets 3 and 4 to earn the victory. Abbie O'Ferrell led all scorers with 13 kills, 5 aces, 1 block, and 20 digs.
The Lady Hawks next test is #6 IWCC and #1 Tyler back to back first thing in the morning. Captain Dominique Mason commented, "We're up for the challenge. I can see it in their eyes."
September 10, 2015
HCC Volleyball hits the national rankings coming in at #11. Usually a fixture in the national poll, HCC fell out of the polls early in 2014 and had trouble returning. "It's nice to be recognized," said Coach Larkin. "It's a challenge to get there and stay there. It's a testament to the hard work the girls are putting in." When asked how hard it is to break into the national poll, Larkin explained, "The state of Florida is one of the best regions for junior college volleyball now. Sometimes our beating each other up can make it harder to maintain a national ranking." Five of the 20 ranked teams earned spots in this week's poll.
September 9, 2015
A big thank you goes out to SGA for planning a great night and to the FEF faculty and students for supporting our team. The Lady Hawks defeated Webber International JV 3-0. HCC was led by Erika Zembyla's 10 kills and Abbie O'Ferrell's 8 kills. All players factored in the victory. "We had a total team effort tonight," commented Larkin. "It was our final preparation for our trip to Texas this weekend." The Hawks will be tested in Texas, playing 3 teams in the national top 10. "I feel comfortable with what we have accomplished in our first 10 matches, but we have to continue to improve," said Larkin. "It's a long race."When asked how she felt about the team's victory tonight, MB Iris Sietsma said, "I really like cats." HCC (9-1) is currently the #3 team in Florida and poised to enter the NJCAA national poll.
September 8, 2015
Congratulations to libero Cherlie Adorno who was named Region 8 Defensive Player of the Week.
NJCAA Region 8/FCSAA Volleyball Defensive Player of the Week Cherlie Adorno DeJesus, Hillsborough
Sophomore – Libero
Toa Boja, Puerto Rico
Averaged 7.1 digs over a total of 15 sets played
Recorded season-high 36 digs in five-set win at previously-undefeated Pensacola State (September 3) and finished the week with 30 in a four-set triumph over Florida State College
Leads Region 8 in total digs (196), is second in digs/set (5.8) and is inside the top 15 nationally in both categories
Last week, recorded two entries into the 25-Dig Club (28 vs. Daytona State, 28 vs. St. Petersburg)
September 7, 2015
Alumnus Setter Carmen Fernandez posted 33 assists 13 digs and 5 aces in Morgan State's first win of the season. The Bears defeated Chicago State at the UIC Invitational in Chicago. Way to go and keep it up!
Alumnus OH Shelby Walker helped Ohio University upset #10 Kentucky in Lexington. Ohio followed it up with wins over LSU and and a come from behind victory versus Xavier. In the comeback, senior middle blocker Shelby totaled a season high 15 kills along with 8 digs and 3 total blocks.
September 6, 2015
Alumnus Antia Rodriguez helps Valdosta St to a 3-0 start to the season. The Blazers defeated Barton and Barry before facing the host Lynn. In a tough 5-setter Antia led all attackers with 16 kills. Keep it up, Antia, and have a great season!
September 5, 2015
Congrats to HCC Alumnus Andrea Tauai for leading New Mexico State with 12 kills, 16 digs, and 3 aces against Abilene Christian!
September 5, 2015
The Lady Hawks completed a perfect performance at the Pensacola State Invitational, going 4-0. In the 4th match, HCC faced FSCJ who flashed some serious defense at times. Both teams battled back and forth, did for dig. The Hawks prevailed in 4 sets, closing out the 4th 25-17. "Cherlie and her 30 digs and consistent serving was a difference maker for us," said Coach Larkin. "She has also become a vocal leader on the floor." Dom chipped in 14 kills and Erika posted another double double. "The match was certainly competitive," continued Larkin, "but you should have seen the frosh versus the sophs charades game at the break. There was blood shed."
The 8-1 Lady Hawks next play Webber JV on Tuesday night at HCC at 7pm for SGA Appreciation Night. Come join us for popcorn, giveaways, and lots of shenanigans!
September 5, 2015
HCC Volleyball defeated Odessa (TX) in straight sets Saturday morning. Having started the season in the NJCAA top 20 poll, Odessa would be a good test for the Hawks. "Odessa played really well yesterday, so we were looking forward to the match-up," explained Larkin. "Our setter Briana had a great match. She kept the defense off balance and put our hitters in some great positions." Briana Stowell contributed 4 kills, 3 aces, 1 block, and 27 assists. MB Iris Sietsma also hit .670 with 9 kills for the Lady Hawks. "I wasn't sure how the weekend would go when Bri boarded the bus with a giant bag of potato chips," quipped Larkin, "but she's dialed in now." HCC faces FSCJ at 2pm to conclude the tournament.
September 4, 2015
HCC Volleyball survives a scare at Pensacola State, winning in 5 sets. "PSC fought hard, and we feel fortunate to leave with a victory," said Larkin. "Dom (20 kills) was a superhero tonight. We would have set her in the bathroom if she needed to go."
Abigail O'Ferrell contributed a double double (10 kills and 12 digs) and a couple of aces in the effort. The Lady Hawks face Odessa (TX) and FSCJ on Saturday.
September 4, 2015
HCC Volleyball gets off on the right foot, sweeping Gulf Coast State at the PSC Invitational. "We showed some defense early and then found some rhythm on offense. It wasn't rhythm you could dance to," said Larkin, "but it was rhythm." The Lady Hawks were led by Dominique Mason's 14 points, Erika Zembyla's 11 points, and Abbie O'Ferrell's 10 points. Libero Cherlie Adorno posted 20 digs and passed a 2.7 in serve receive. "We have a little work to do at the service line," continued Larkin. "We left that part of the game on the bus. I hope our freshmen remember to offload it before the next match."
HCC next plays Pensacola State at 6pm.
September 2, 2015
Congrats to senior and HCC alumnus Shelby Walker for helping Ohio University defeat #10 Kentucky in Lexington in four sets. Shelby started and played OH and had a couple of key blocks late in set 4 to set up match points. We're so proud of you Shelby. Keep it up!
August 29, 2015
HCC Kickoff Classic Day 2
HCC Volleyball battled two tough opponents Saturday, losing to Indian River State 1-3 and defeating Daytona State 3-1.
"Against River, we just couldn't get anything going," explained Larkin. "You have to give them credit; they took it to us this morning." Luckily, after a homemade lunch of Filippelli Italian style meatballs, the Lady Hawks bounced back and brought some full belly intensity to the Daytona match.
"Honestly... I'm superstitious, so after the morning loss, I went home and changed my clothes, my shoes, and my socks," quipped Larkin. "I obviously wore the wrong clothes to the gym. That's on me. I take full responsibility."
Well, something worked because the Lady Hawks looked inspired as they battled the Falcons, ultimately prevailing in 4 sets.
HCC was led by floor generals Briana Stowell and Shayna Filippelli who posted 4 aces and 3 aces respectively. Abbie O'Ferrell added 13 kills, Erika Zembyla added 11 kills, and Dominique Mason added 10 kills. MB Rachell Vargas also posted 7 kills and 2 blocks. Cherlie Adorno tallied 25 kills to lead the defense.
"I saw some real smiles after the game," said Larkin. "It doesn't get any better than that."
The Lady Hawks will travel to Pensacola State College on Thursday for a weekend Invitational.
August 28, 2015
HCC Volleyball finished the day 2-0 after defeating #16 Central Florida. Cherlie Adorno led the defense with 26 digs, and HCC had four players in double digit kills: Dominique Mason 12, Erika Zembyla 13, Iris Sietsma 11, and Abbie O'Ferrell 10. Tied at one set apiece, the Lady Hawks battled back in a set 3, down 12-18, to win the set 25-22. "A few freshmen came off the bench and gave us a tremendous lift, " said Larkin. "I was really proud of the poise that Larra, Sharonda, and Arielle showed." Tied at 11-11 in set 5, the Hawks pulled away with timely kills by Shayna Filippelli and Larra Bickelhaupt, winning 15-13. "We blocked really well in spurts [14 total blocks]," continued Larkin. "We made it an uphill climb with our performance at the service line, but our team learned a lot from fighting through that adversity." HCC plays IRSC Saturday morning at 9:30 and Daytona State later in the day.
HCC Volleyball started the season strong, defeating Lake Sumter State College in straight sets.The Lady Hawks were led by Dominique Mason's 9 kills and 2 aces, Erika Zembyla's 9 kills and 2 aces, and Iris Sietsma's 8 kills and a block. Libero Cherlie Adorno posted a 2.5 receive percentage and also recorded 2 aces. Coach Larkin noted, "I liked our style of play. Every match is a chance for me to get to know this group better and for them to improve. I saw some good things out there." HCC next faces CF at 4pm at the Dale Mabry Gymnasium.