By WAYNE GRUMET
© St. Petersburg Times, published October 12, 2000
INVERNESS -- Hernando was on its way to clinching a share of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference title Wednesday with a 15-10, 15-12 win over Citrus when its season flashed before its eyes.
Hernando led Citrus 13-8 in the opening game when its setter, Kristi Langworthy, collided with Carmen Byrd in the backcourt. Langworthy went down in a tearful heap, clutching the same left wrist she broke at the end of the 2000 softball season.
Hernando closed out the first game, but Langworthy's absence was felt at the outset of the second game as Citrus jumped ahead 5-1. But Langworthy, with her wrist taped, returned and helped Hernando rally.
"I was wanting to go in, and I was waiting for (the coaching staff) to ask me," Langworthy said. "It still kind of hurts a little bit because the bones are still weak from when I broke it before. I was fine, and I wanted to be out there.
"The adrenaline kept me pumped up, so I wasn't really worrying about (my wrist). I was worried about the score and winning."
Langworthy finished with 13 assists, including seven after the injury.
Even when Langworthy played, Citrus (4-11) played stellar defense throughout the match. Sophomore Brittany Doyle sparked Citrus' front line, tallying five of her six blocks in the second game.
Doyle, Vanessa Albaum and Susan Bierley kept Hernando's talented outside hitter, Chrissy Hartley, off-balance. The Citrus trio combined for 11 kills and seven blocks. Hartley finished with seven kills but managed just two in the second game.
"We had some nice blocks up there tonight, and I think we intimidated them a little bit," Citrus coach Pam Woznicki said. "They rallied right along with us. Volleyball is a game of momentum, and you've got to keep it."
Hernando (17-1), ranked No. 5 in Class 4A, was short-handed even before Langworthy went down. Coach Dena Frye benched middle blocker Bernice Mosby.
"We had some attitudes, and I had to bench one of my big girls tonight," Frye said.
"Cristi Brown came in. She's only a sophomore and did a great job."
Brown saved her best for the final surge, tallying three kills and a block to account for four of Hernando's final six points.
Hernando wrapped up the top seed in Class 4A, District 6 with a win over Springstead on Tuesday. Lecanto, the second seed in 4A-6, must win out to grab a share of the conference crown.
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