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For their own good
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TAMPA - King won its first game big, then had to battle sudden death to defeat Ridgewood. The Lions won the first game 25-16, then seemed to fall apart, with a 25-11 loss in the second.
After a tough match, much of it against themselves, the Lions finally secured a 25-16, 11-25, 23-25, 25-21, 15-13 victory.
In the second game, Ridgewood focused on shutting down King headliner Lauren Bloemke, who normally gets more than 20 kills a match, according to coach Yvette Wood. Ridgewood flooded her kill spots and limited her to 13 for the night.
Bloemke still led the Lions with 14 hits and eight blocks. She also served 24 points, including five aces.
In the fifth game, the two teams exchanged the lead three times each and had five ties, before reaching a score of 6-6. At that point, the Lions scored three straight points and didn't relinquish the lead again until finally securing the two-point win and the match.
An Le also played a major part in the victory for King making 10 kills, seven hits, three blocks and four aces.
Wood got firm with her players after the third game, down 2-1 and facing elimination.
"I told them to look around the gym and see who was there and who the crowd came to see and look at the school," she said. "I told them this was not about themselves. It was about their friends, family and fans in the stands and it was about their school. They came out of their pity party and started playing the way they were capable."