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Overlooked Sharks dismantle district foe in three games

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Mon. September 20, 2010 | Derek J. LaRiviere

BROOKSVILLE — Nature Coast has only one loss this season, but many haven’t been taking the Sharks seriously since they lost last year’s team leader Alex Livengood and former coach Dan Murphy. Maybe they should after Monday night.

Nature Coast sent a message when it swept Class 4A, District 8 foe River Ridge in three games 25-14, 25-10, 25-2.

The Sharks (7-1) came out of the gate on fire but only got better as the night went on. In the first game, junior hitter Michelle Doucet had 12 service points as the home team ran away with opener. The second game wasn’t much different. Sophomore hitter Courtney Skinner led Nature Coast with 10 service points.

To show they weren’t keeping their collective foot off the accelerator, the Sharks were led by junior setter Lauren Powell’s 18 service points in the third-game finale over the Royal Knights (3-4).

“I was proud of the fact that we didn’t let up despite not getting much of a challenge,” first-year Nature Coast coach Emily Gore said. “When you come out and win 25-2 in the third game, that’s a statement.”

Nature Coast wasn’t missing its usual power from senior star Courtney Liddle (game-high 13 kills) either. Freshman hitter Sierra Ruiz backed her up with four kills.

“We’re a small team and we don’t have a lot of height or depth,” Gore said. “We have to work hard for every win we get, but you can tell the team is starting to jell now.”

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