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Boca Ciega dances all over Osceola

Pirates stay loose during power outage, then overcome poor play to deliver 3-1 win over Warriors.

By JOE SMITH
Published August 29, 2006


SEMINOLE - The lights went out in Osceola High's gymnasium on Monday night.

The blackout just so happened to occur between the third and fourth games of the Warriors volleyball matchup with Boca Ciega.

The fun-loving Pirates, however, took the 20-minute break as an opportunity to break dance.

The Pirates created a circle and took turns trying their favorite moves, with the others clapping in tune. They laughed. They sang. They even invited the small group of students in the stands to join in.

Joked Osceola captain Taylor Stanley: "It was entertainment."

Boca Ciega also proved more relaxed in the tense moments of the District 11 match, coming from-behind late several times for a four-game victory - 26-24, 25-13, 23-25, 25-23.

The Warriors (0-4), notoriously slow starters this season, jumped out to a 17-11 lead in the first game. Boca Ciega (2-2) slowly climbed back, but it wasn't without hiccups. The Pirates struggled with their serves and, often times, would let a floating volley land between two players, whom appeared as though they were avoiding a hand grenade.

"The girls get along so well, sometimes it works against them," Boca Ciega coach Lissa Bartle said. "They aren't as assertive with each other."

When it came to the crucial moments, however, Boca Ciega's stars came through. There was 6-foot-2 sophomore Bianca Iannello, whom senior Becca Julien affectionately calls "The Wall."

Iannello sparked the Pirates comeback in Game 1 with several key blocks and kills. Then, after Boca Ciega faced game point (23-24), Julien finished the pivotal first game with two timely winners.

"When you hit one good one, it just makes you want to do it again," Julien said. "We needed it."