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6A-7 volleyball final: Bumpy road to final doesn't faze PHU

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Fri. October 29, 2010 | Bob Putnam | Email

Palm Harbor University’s trip to Sarasota did not go exactly as planned Thursday.

The team had to switch buses after one broke down. Then there was an accident on Interstate 75.

“It was a three-hour ride,” Hurricanes coach Tara Kuk said. “That was a little rough. I was a little nervous how that would affect us.”

Turns out, the rest of the night went without a hitch.

Palm Harbor University, the No. 1 seed, rolled to a 25-15, 25-15, 25-19 victory No. 2 seed and host Sarasota Riverview in the Class 6A, District 7 final. It is the third straight district title for the Hurricanes, the longest streak in school history.

PHU (19-7) will host Bloomingdale in Tuesday’s region quarterfinal.

Undefeated in district play during the regular season, the Hurricanes were heavily favored in Thursday’s final. They swept the Rams for the second time this season, jumping out to big leads in the first two games.

The only drama came in the third game when PHU broke a 13-all tie by scoring 12 of the final 19 points.

“We shook off what could have been a tough start to the night,” Kuk said. “In the third game, we made some plays that shifted momentum. I thought everyone played well.”

The Hurricanes were led by Leah McNary (eight kills), Caitlyn Kovach (28 assists) and Sammy Eichelberger (11 digs).

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