ST. PETERSBURG - Canterbury middle blocker Ashley Pollard enjoyed being front and center. Pollard had 23 kills in Canterbury's 25-17, 25-23, 25-23 win over Keswick to claim Canterbury's first district title.
Pollard had five kills in the first game and grew stronger as the match went on. With the score tied at 23 in the second, Canterbury's rotation had Pollard on the front row. Pollard had a key kill to put Canterbury ahead 24-23, setting up Missy Diacoff's ace to end Keswick's comeback bid.
"The front row or the back I don't care," Pollard said. "I just love to hit the ball."
Even with Pollard playing in the back, setter Juliet Fleece found Pollard for several scoring opportunities.
"She's our most reliable hitter," Fleece said."She knows what to do to get the point. Even if it's a blind set I'm still trying to aim for where she is."
Canterbury went ahead 6-0 in the third before Keswick reeled off six straight to tie it. Keswick had a 21-19 lead before Pollard tied the score at 23 with a kill. Cassie Harris' kill gave Canterbury the lead and the Crusaders never looked back.
Nora Brody added six kills for Canterbury and had two of the Crusaders' nine service aces. Amanda DiMaggio led Keswick with eight kills and Ali Tousley added four.