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Pasco: Volleyball Roundup
By Times staff
Published October 10, 2007
Cobras snag season split with Bulldogs
ZEPHYRHILLS - Down one and facing match point Tuesday against a Zephyrhills team that had already beaten Hudson once this season, Cobras senior Lara Metz did what most normal human beings would do.
"It was nerve-racking," Metz said. "I just breathed."
Aided by that fresh batch of oxygen, Metz landed a kill that tied the score and resuscitated the Cobras, propelling them to a 17-15 victory and a much-needed split of the season series.
For the first four games, the teams ebbed and flowed on their individual strengths: Zephyrhills riding its defense and evenly distributed talent, Hudson (18-5) riding its hitter-setter tandem of Metz and Mary Cook.
The Cobras took early leads in the first four games only to watch Zephyrhills battle back.
Trailing 15-10 in the first game, the Bulldogs won seven straight points and eventually pulled out a 25-21 win. Sophomore Lindsay Arnold had three of her nine kills in that opening game, but Hudson battled back, getting five kills from Metz in a 25-18 win in Game 2.
In the third game, Zephyrhills overcame a 16-12 deficit to win 26-24, while Hudson took the fourth 25-22.
"You'd think since we came back to rebound all (match), we'd be able to win the match," said Zephyrhills coach Tiffany Bibby, whose team had won 18 of its first 19 matches.
But Hudson showed its resiliency in the fifth game, winning four of the last five points after falling behind 14-13.
Metz, a leading player of the year candidate, finished the match with 24 kills, with Cook feeding her on many of them.
Jessica McCall led Zephyrhills (18-2) with 10 kills.
Countryside cruises by Mitchell
If this was a preview of the Class 6A, District 7 final, Countryside should defend its title with ease.
The Cougars scored 12 consecutive points in Game 1, thanks to the strong serving of Davionna DiSalvatore, and never let up against host Mitchell, 25-5, 25-22 and 25-15.
The win concluded district play, where Countryside (20-2, 10-0) has gone three straight seasons without a loss. The Cougars were led by talented hitter Madison Truluck.
"They made a decision to stay focused," Countryside coach Kaylyn Bayly said.
The Mustangs fought back, winning the first two points in Games 2 and 3. Mitchell tied Game 2 at 22, thanks to a solid kill by Mustangs junior Amy Petrella. But a mis-hit by teammate Lea Webber followed by a Countryside point and a carry led the Cougars' Game 2 win. Countryside took a 3-2 lead in Game 3 and went up by as many as 11 before winning out four consecutive points.
Mitchell (16-6, 6-4) struggled to gain momentum. A few girls were sent home shortly before the game to get the correct uniforms, and that limited warmup time. It showed as the Mustangs fired countless unforced errors beyond the baseline, into the net or into the arms of Countryside defenders who seemingly always had an answer.
"They came out cold and flat," Mitchell coach Keith Paulk said. "It takes everything we have against Countryside. They're way too good to give them anything."
Staff writer Izzy Gould contributed to this report.