LUTZ — Steinbrenner got the momentum it was looking for heading into today’s Class 4A-9 final.
The Warriors pleased their home crowd and eased past mistake-prone Lennard on Wednesday night in three games, 25-4, 25-15, 25-17, sealing a spot in the final against Strawberry Crest.
“We were able to play everybody on our bench tonight,” Steinbrenner coach Staci Elias said. “The last game we had most of our substitutes and (junior varsity) kids in there. … We got to see some different looks in case we need them down the road.”
The Warriors took little time to get started, jumping out in the first game to a 17-3 lead thanks in large part to senior setter Erin McMurtry, who served nearly the entire game and capitalized on a multitude of Longhorn mistakes that contributed to the 25-4 manhandling.
The second-game win for Steinbrenner was more of its own doing, as it rode the play of junior outside hitter Miranda Powell, who had nearly all of her team-high eight kills.
“(Powell’s) stepping up and filling in the spot that she had to earn earlier in the season, and she played really well today,” she said.
Strawberry Crest clinched its spot in the title match with a 25-19, 25-16, 22-25, 25-19 victory over Robinson. Steinbrenner, which was ousted in the first round of last year’s regionals by Lakewood, beat Strawberry Crest this season. Both have clinched spots in the region tournament, and Elias said it will be another tough test.
"They’re a great defensive team so we’ve got to show up and we have to play well,” she said.