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Precise serving helps Lecanto to win

Missing on only four of 48 serves, the Panthers continue their good start with a 15-10, 15-10 victory against Central.

By GREG AUMAN

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 14, 2001


Missing on only four of 48 serves, the Panthers continue their good start with a 15-10, 15-10 victory against Central.

BROOKSVILLE -- Lecanto hasn't been dominating, hasn't been unstoppable, hasn't been playing up to its full potential.

Still, that has been good enough for a 6-1 start and good enough Thursday for a 15-10, 15-10 victory at Central.

"I don't think anyone shone too much tonight," Panthers coach Kathy Dickson said. "The setters did a pretty decent job, but the hitters didn't do a very good job at all. Our serving made the difference tonight."

Lecanto missed on just four of 48 serves, and while it had only six service winners, the consistency with which it put the ball in play allowed for several long streaks of points.

Jill Bandhauer rattled off seven points in the first game with the help of three service winners, and Lisa Carter helped Lecanto to 11 points in three stretches.

In all three instances, Central sought to take Carter out of her rhythm by calling a timeout. But each time, her serve was in and Lecanto scored.

"They served really well tonight," Central coach Jim Jensen said. "It probably was the difference tonight.

"More than anything, we weren't fired up to play, which surprised me. I thought we would perform better than we did."

Central (5-5) scored seven points off of the serve of Thalia Tatham to take a 7-3 lead in the first game. But after her three service winners, the Bears did not score another and committed seven service errors.

The Bears led 8-4 and 10-8 in the second game but committed errors on four consecutive points. Bandhauer finished off the match with kills on two of the last three plays.

"I like when we come back," said Dickson, whose team's lone loss was a close three-game setback at Hernando last week.

"We've been down a little bit, and it's nice to get up big and stay there. But this is a good show of mental strength."

Lecanto next plays Tuesday against Crystal River while Central travels to Hernando for a cross-town rivalry match Monday.

"I'm sure they're licking their chops after seeing this score," Jensen said.

"We may be a totally different team Monday. We're either going to drill somebody or we're going to get killed. There's no in between right now."

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