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BROOKSVILLE - There was Kristen Wimer throwing down a couple of crucial kills and Mackenzie Roberts doing the same. There was Nicole Brady and Angela Wooster coming through with critical serves and critical sets. And by the end of Central's 3-0 victory over Springstead, the Bears looked capable of defending their Hernando County Athletic Conference crown.
"I'm smiling tonight," said coach Vicki Weaver, whose Bears rattled off wins of 25-21, 25-9, 25-22.
That hasn't always been the case through Central's first six games, particularly considering last week's four-game loss to Hernando. With three stars from last year's team gone and former role players like Wimer and Roberts being counted on to lead, the Bears haven't resembled the squad that has owned the county's courts the past few seasons.
In the first game, Central (4-2) held a healthy lead throughout most of the action, then allowed the Eagles to climb within one point late. In the third game, the Bears trailed 15-11 and did not hold their first lead until 23-22.
Despite the occasional miscommunication on defense and missed hits on offense, they got a combined 19 kills from Wimer and Roberts, seven coming from Wimer in Game 3.
Brady, in the same senior class as Wimer and Roberts, served well throughout, finishing with four aces, three in Game 1. Wooster, a sophomore, held serve for the final five points.
Springstead (2-3), meanwhile, continues to rebuild and rediscover its identity. Lindsey Markford played well, as did Allison Wagner and Jen Knoer, who combined for seven blocks.
"We were tired and hurt," said coach Jessica Allnut, whose Eagles were playing their third straight game. "The fatigue factor set in."