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LAND O’LAKES — Volleyball is all about momentum, and for a good portion of Tuesday evening it belonged to Zephyrhills.
Land O’Lakes’ unforced errors, Zephyrhills’ spectacular digs and even fan support had the Bulldogs poised to upend the undefeated Gators on their home floor.
But then that momentum shifted over to Land O’Lakes’ sidelines, carrying the Gators to a grinding 21-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-16 victory over the previously unbeaten Bulldogs.
“We have a lot of girls with great attitudes,” Land O’Lakes coach Lauri Tysko said. “It seems like we lose a game and then come right back. These girls never give up.”
And after losing a hard-fought first set 25-21, the Gators (8-0) faced much of the same in the second as both teams battled furiously. The Bulldogs grabbed a 16-12 lead, but several unforced errors allowed the Gators to come back and eventually snag a 19-18 edge and the match 25-22.
The third game saw Zephyrhills take a 23-22 lead after trailing for most of the set, but the Gators pulled even after a questionable call gave Land O’Lakes a point and in the end the match at 25-23.
The Gators came out strong in the final set and overpowered Zephyrhills 25-16. Land O’Lakes got key performances from Teresa Penna (20 kills, 17 digs), Nicole Woodward (10 kills) and Morgan Crescent (10 kills, 11 digs).
“They never give up,” Zephyrhills coach Dan Muir said of his squad. “We didn’t do too well and especially in the last game we didn’t serve too well.”