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SPRING HILL — Until Wednesday night, Springstead had been cruising through its regular season against local opponents. Hudson planned on stopping that.
The Cobras succeeded by going to Springstead and pushing the Eagles to five games, but Hudson couldn’t come out with a victory. Instead, it lost 23-25, 25-20, 21-25, 25-13, 15-11 as the home team remained unscathed.
Springstead (14-1) swept Hudson (10-5) three weeks ago on the road in three games when the Eagles were at full strength, but they had no such luck in this recent match as hitter Carly Higgins sat recovering from a recent ankle injury.
The Cobras, whose chemistry was much improved since the previous meeting between the Class 5A, District 7 rivals, took advantage of the key personnel loss.
“Hudson gave us the game we were waiting for,” Springstead hitter Megan Morrison said. “Both teams have been practicing their hardest (since that last game), so we knew they’d be better this time.”
In the meantime, two hitters carried the load for Springstead as the match wore on. While the Eagles struggled with their serve in the first three games, Zoe Mannino (20 kills) and Morrison (game-high 30 kills) kept it close.
“We relied heavily on Megan and Zoe tonight as the stats would indicate,” Hinton said. “At one point during the game I asked our other hitters to turn it up out there.”
Morrison (game-high eight aces) really pulled through in the clutch.
In the final game, the score was tied at 3 and she went back to serve. She proceeded to nail five consecutive aces to give Springstead what turned out to be an insurmountable advantage.