MORE from our HomeTeam writers.
PALM HARBOR — While Palm Harbor University managed to secure a 25-18, 25-19, 25-22 victory over Countryside on Tuesday, the win didn’t earn high marks from Hurricanes coach Tara Kuk.
“I’d give them a B-minus,” Kuk said. “It definitely wasn’t our greatest performance. We gave up too many runs and played complacent at times as well. We assumed it would go our way.”
The Hurricanes had to fight back from deficits in both the first and third games, nearly losing the third before two kills by senior middle hitter Leah McNary sealed the win.
“We had a lot of errors and we knew we needed to step it up,” said McNary, who had a match-high 14 kills. “We need to take from this game the mentality that we have to start strong in each set and keep up the intensity.”
After the Hurricanes overcame an 8-4 deficit to take the first game, they opened the second with a six-point run en route to a 10-2 lead and eventually capped the game with a kill by McNary and an ace by Aryanna Ismaili.
In the third game, the Cougars jumped out to a 5-0 lead only to see the Hurricanes storm back with a 9-1 run. The teams shared the lead five times throughout the rest of the game. At 21-all McNary had a key block and two kills to close the match.
“We definitely didn’t want it going to another set,” said junior setter Caitlyn Kovach, who had a match-high 25 assists. “We played well but we know we can play a lot better.”