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The improved Marauders come up short again against their district nemesis Buccaneers, falling 25-17, 25-20, 25-20.
By BRANDON WRIGHT
Published September 27, 2006
CLEARWATER - The buzz brewing throughout the halls at Clearwater Central Catholic recently centered on the Marauders' match Tuesday against mighty Berkeley Prep. With just three seniors on the Buccaneers roster, some felt CCC, a rising volleyball program, might be able to catch the 12-time state champs on a downswing.
Tuesday, the Bucs reminded the Marauders how far they still have to go.
Berkeley Prep (11-3) trailed only briefly as the Buccaneers took advantage of their superior height, dismantling the Marauders 25-17, 25-20, 25-20 in a Class 3A, District 11 match that wasn't nearly as close as the scores indicated.
"We never, ever got into any rhythm whatsoever," CCC coach Jennifer Dull said. "Not once."
If any spectators blinked, they would have missed the Marauders' fleeting lead. CCC went ahead 3-2, then 4-3 in Game 2, but that would be it.
"I'd like to think that this was (an off night), but I'm not sure that's quite the answer," Dull said. "We have to be willing to work through things in the big games on the schedule."
With middle blocker Brittany Doyle sitting out while recovering from left knee surgery and middle hitter Jessica Scharf hampered by a back injury, the Bucs' taller frontline had little trouble finding holes in the CCC (13-4) defense.
But Dull refused to use the Bucs' height advantage as an excuse.
"Technically, there are ways around that problem," she said. "You can be patient and set up the blockers and we didn't do that."
Lizzy Ignac had 12 kills while Jessica Scharf and Natalie Mehy added four each for CCC. Bucs freshman Lindsay Young led the team with nine kills and six aces while Jordan Dickie had six kills and four blocks.
CLEARWATER 3, PALM HARBOR UNIVERSITY 0: The Tornadoes (13-0) defeated PHU (14-4) for the second time this season, remaining undefeated with a 25-15, 25-10, 26-24 road victory.
"I think we expected a little closer match," Clearwater coach Tracy Sedley said. "We cruised in the first two (games), but they're a very good team and gave us a run for our money in the third (game)."
Tuesday's win was the first step in a brutal four-match stretch for the Tornadoes. Clearwater's final three matches of the season are against East Lake tonight, Tarpon Springs on Thursday and Countryside next Tuesday - all on the road.
"This is really going to tell where we are as a team," Sedley said. "We've been stressing to the team that it's very important to take these one match at a time and not look down the road."
Kristin Fisher had 12 kills, four blocks and five digs for Clearwater and Lauren Rilling added eight aces. Rilling also served 14 straight points to open Game 3.