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Gulf improves its serving for a key district win, 25-15, 19-25, 25-20, 25-16, over Zephyrhills.
By MIKE TOMPKINS
Published September 22, 2006
NEW PORT RICHEY - While enduring its fourth game in four days, one could have expected Gulf to have nothing left in its tank for Thursday night's game against Zephyrhills.
The Bucs had just lost a district match the night before against Nature Coast, and Homecoming week is on the horizon.
The Bucs could have just packed it in and headed home for some sleep.
Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, Gulf was ready to play and earned a key 25-15, 19-25, 25-20, 25-16 win over their Class 4A, District 8 foe.
"I couldn't be more proud of these girls," coach Shari Schau. "After four straight matches this week - and they haven't all been three games.
"They stuck it out, and they played real well. This is the team that I've expected to have all season long. If they can get some consistency going, they're going to do some damage."
Before the game, Schau voiced her displeasure over her team's much-maligned serving ability. And after serving errors on their first two opportunities, it appeared their troubles would continue.
But after Zephyrhills (11-3) jumped to an early 5-1 lead, Gulf battled back on the strength of its defense and closed the gap to 11-7. The offense quickly got in gear, however, as junior outside hitter Amanda Gardner reeled off seven consecutive service points, including four consecutive aces, to give the Bucs (5-7) a 14-11 lead en route to victory.
Gardner, who leads the Bucs in just about every offensive category, finished with six aces and nine kills. Junior middle hitter Shelby Flint chipped in with four blocks and four kills, including three in a row to close out the decisive fourth game.