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NEW PORT RICHEY — Gulf coach Belinda Delaney and Hudson coach Kortney Newton not only used to be teammates during their playing days at Gulf, but also are close friends off the court.
“It’s more of a friendly competition between me and (Newton),” Delaney said. “So it was pretty fun to coach against each other and have that competition, but we are friends on and off the court.”
Delaney’s club took advantage of a lackadaisical start by the previously undefeated Cobras in a sweep 25-19, 25-11, 25-15 at the Bever Hicks Center on Tuesday night.
The Buccaneers (2-1) took a 23-16 lead in the first game and the Cobras (4-1) tried to rally, coming within 24-19.
But Gulf would not let up on this night. In the second game Gulf gained momentum off Hudson’s unforced errors and at one point held a 21-9 lead. Gulf setter Lucy Vega (13 assists) ended the set on a strong jump-serve ace.
Gulf rolled through the final game behind strong performances from junior middle hitter Lea Burbridge (eight blocks, nine kills) and outside hitter Leighlani Paselio (four blocks, three kills). Cobras sophomore Logan McGee led Hudson with six kills.
“The girls came out with a lot of intensity tonight,” Delaney said. “They are back to having fun while they are playing and that’s an important thing.”