By BOB PUTNAM
© St. Petersburg Times,
published September 15, 2001
Shorecrest goes from concerned to three-set winner It was late Thursday at the Keswick Christian Invitational and Shorecrest coach Kathy Sessions was worried.
Her team had just lost to Largo in two games and was about to play East Lake, which entered the tournament 8-0.
"East Lake is so much stronger," Sessions said.
"From everything I heard, they were the team to beat in the county this season."
There were no worries in the end.
The Chargers won in three games, marking the fourth year in a row they have beaten the Eagles at the tournament.
Sessions said the reason her team kept the streak alive was the play of sophomore middle hitter Alyssa Jamison.
Jamison was an unknown entering the match. She had been benched by Sessions for missing summer practices and sat out the first game against Largo for not attending school Wednesday.
The match against East Lake was Jamison's first start of the season, and Sessions said she hoped to use her height as an advantage. At 6 feet 3, Jamison towered over her teammates, none of whom are taller than 5-8.
"She was timid in practice, and I wondered how she would do," Sessions said.
Jamison found her confidence after watching other players during warmups.
"She said she was watching these other big girls hit the ball and said she finally figured it out," Sessions said.
"It sure helps having her in the lineup. She was a force out there."
ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Tarpon Springs is experiencing the ultimate road trip. With their gymnasium being rebuilt, the Spongers do not have a home match this season.
But hopping on a bus and playing in front of opposing crowds isn't the toughest part, coach Monica Wilson said.
"It's practice," she said.
The Spongers must practice at a local gym and are limited to two hours each day. Still, despite the setbacks, Tarpon Springs hasn't fallen apart, starting the season 4-3.
A young team, Wilson said the Spongers are relying on the experience of Andrea Bubolo and Casey O'Toole, the lone seniors. "The circumstances are tough for the team," Wilson said. "But we're staying together."
ON A ROLL: Northeast is one of the last remaining unbeaten teams in the county.
The Vikings are 8-0 and recently won the Hillsborough Community College tournament, beating River Ridge in three games in the final.
Leading Northeast during the tournament were seniors Bonnie Benton, Rachelle Konczal and Jamie Toon.
SPIKES AND STUFF: Largo is in good position once the Keswick Invitational resumes. The Packers are 2-0 and have beaten Shorecrest. ... Keswick Christian coach Karrmayne King said the tournament has been rescheduled for Oct. 19-20. ... For Shorecrest, the makeup date is bad timing. It falls on the same week as homecoming. ... Whoever wins the tournament will not be a repeat champion. The past two winners, Orlando Lake Highland Prep and Gainesville Oak Hall, are not participating.