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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
TAMPA - Indian Rocks Christian coach Mark Foster crumbled to the ground. Athletic director Phil Farver leapt in the air. And when Liz Schaner's kill landed on Tampa Prep's home court, the comeback was complete.
IRC came from two games down Tuesday to defeat the Terrapins for the first time in school history 20-25, 22-25, 25-23, 25-23, 15-9.
"I guess you could say the monkey is off our shoulders," Foster said. "This is by far the best match I have ever coached in."
IRC looked timid in the first two games against a Tampa Prep program that has the second-most state championships (15) in Florida history.
Many of Tampa Prep's fans left after the Terrapins went up 2-0, but IRC was just getting warmed up. Schaner tipped over the winner in Game 3 and Liz Zeitler's kill to close out Game 4 evened the match.
By the time Game 5 came around, IRC's crowd outnumbered Terrapin fans. IRC stretched its lead to 12-6 in Game 5 after a pair of aces from Kenzie Reynolds and when Schaner's ball was deflected at the net and landed on the Terps' side, Golden Eagles fans stormed the court to celebrate. "I was so happy I thought I was going to cry," Reynolds said.
Reynolds recorded 11 of her match-high 21 kills in the final two games. The sophomore outside hitter also finished with four aces and played a part in several key defensive sequences.
"I told (setter) Tabitha (Henley) to keep getting it to Kenzie and she put the ball right on her hands," Foster said. "Kenzie's just a sophomore but she reads the game like a senior."
In addition to making school history, IRC (9-0, 5-0) remained undefeated and moved a game ahead of Tampa Prep (4-2, 3-1) in the 2A-11 standings.
Countryside 3, Mitchell 1: Countryside sophomore Madison Truluck is feared for her power, but she showed her softer side against host Mitchell. It was a joust at the net she won, a tip she placed into a chasm in the Mitchell defense and a well-played two-hand set across the net to a confounded Mustang defender that proved more powerful than her typical smashes. The three consecutive points led Countryside to a 25-22, 25-16, 23-25, 25-22 victory.
"She's just smart," coach Kaylyn Bayly said of Truluck. "She's very aware on the court and knows the game of volleyball and uses that to her advantage."
Taylor Wilson and Danielle Biaso provided the biggest kills of the night for Countryside (11-1, 5-0 Class 6A, District 7). Biaso was even more effective with her dinks, blocks and serves, scoring on all of them in the final game.
Staff writer John C. Cotey contributed to this report.