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BROOKSVILLE — After falling into deep holes in each of the first two games Thursday night, Springstead was unable to climb out in the Class 5A, District 7 championship game at Central.
Forest swept 25-19, 25-17, 25-20 in large part to the Eagles’ inability to find an answer for Wildcats star Allie Stelogeannis.
Springstead (17-7) fell behind 14-4 to start the first game, and behind the play of hitter Carly Wiggins (team-high eight kills, four aces), mounted a comeback. The Eagles went on a 14-3 run to take an 18-17 lead with the junior hitter racking up four kills and three aces along the way.
Forest (18-8) stopped the momentum and put away Springstead to take the one-game advantage. Eagles coach Darcy Hinton refused any notion that her team wasted too much energy getting back into the game after the opening deficit.
“We’re dealing with very resilient kids here,” Hinton said. “They never thought they were out of it.”
The story nearly repeated itself in Game 2. The Wildcats went up 12-4, but this time never looked back. Stelogeannis (game-high 22 kills, three aces) was the most dominant force of the game, and eventually, the match.
“(Stelogeannis) is definitely one of the hardest hitters (we’ve seen this year),” Wiggins said, “and she was very unpredictable.”
Forest split its regular-season series with Springstead, but the Eagles’ win came in September before they kills leader Megan Morrison was injured.