Countryside d. Dunedin 25-18, 29-31, 25-22, 23-25, 16-14
After beating Lakewood and Shorecrest in the preseason, the Cougars were expected to cruise in Tuesday’s regular-season opener against Dunedin.
Countryside won, but it was far from easy.
Led by strong defensive play down the stretch, the visiting Cougars held on in a marathon match that went five games and lasted nearly three hours.
“We have a young team with a lot of new players,” Countryside coach Kaylyn Bayly said. “We’ve never used this lineup before, and we struggled at times. But Dunedin played well. They’re going to surprise some people.”
The Falcons had confidence after taking a game from Clearwater in a preseason match last week. Tuesday, Dunedin won the close games to stay within striking distance.
The difference for the Cougars was play of setter Sydney Burkett and libero Brittany Creamer.
“We would have been in some trouble without Brittany back there keeping balls in play,” Bayly said. “We have some work to do, but I’m proud of the girls for fighting to come back and win.”
Admiral Farragut d. Canterbury 25-19, 23-25, 25-22, 16-25, 15-8
The Blue Jackets opened the season by winning a five-game thriller. AFA also won both of its preseason matches. The bigger challenge comes later in the season for the Blue Jackets with district matches against perennial powers Clearwater Central Catholic and Indian Rocks Christian.
By the numbers
36, 37 Nine-hole scores for Northside Christian’s Anthony Quintessenza and Alyssa Lamoureaux, respectively, Tuesday at Westchase Golf Club in Tampa. Both earned medalist honors in their matches against Tampa Prep.
Compiled by staff writers Bob Putnam and Rodney Page.