Cougars the belles of volleyball invitational

Published September 1, 2006

TARPON SPRINGS - Countryside senior Taylor Wilson rarely stands still.

And to volleyball coach Kaylyn Bayly, that's a good thing.

"She's all over the place," Bayly says. "Taylor's so high-energy, she gets everybody going."

That includes Countryside star sophomore Madison Truluck, who combined with Wilson to put on a spike show at the East Lake Invitational Thursday night. The duo helped Countryside pick up two big wins, sweeping state power Berkeley Prep (25-20, 25-17, 25-19) after beating Clearwater Central Catholic (25-9, 18-25, 25-20, 25-23).

"Everyone underestimated us," said Truluck, who had a team-high 17 kills against Berkeley. "We wanted to come out and prove to everyone that we are the best."

Berkeley Prep (1-1), coming off its 15th state final appearance, was breaking in what coach Randy Dagostino calls "practically a whole new team." Gone are Times' all-Suncoast Player of the Year Janet Okogbaa (Stanford) and all-Suncoast selection Courtney Cohen (Georgetown).

But the cupboard proved far from bare Thursday, as senior setter Kate Parker and freshmen outside hitters Lindsay Young, Chelsea Parker and Alex Dickerson powered the Bucs through the early matchup with East Lake (25-18, 25-20, 26-24).

East Lake junior Sara Rex, a 6-foot middle hitter, continued to be the Eagles' go-to-player. Backed by a spirited, and creatively-dressed (blue hair, straw hats) East Lake student section, Rex helped the Eagles score nine straight points to win the opening game of their nightcap with CCC, 25-23. But the Marauders came out firing from then on, sweeping the next three (27-25, 25-19, 25-17).