SEMINOLE — For the second time in as many matches against district foe Seminole, Clearwater was stretched to five games before earning the victory.
While Tuesday’s matchup didn’t count toward the Class 7A-10 standings, the Tornadoes still spoiled the Warhawks’ senior night, winning 17-25, 26-24, 25-22, 23-25, 15-11.
“We’re a five-game team,” Clearwater coach Kara Betourne said. “We’re used to it. Our girls just take it in stride. I guess we’ve got to get our money’s worth.”
Both teams are now 9-5.
As the records indicate, this promised to be a tightly-contested match. Seminole came out with emotion in the first game. Nursing a 14-11 lead, the Warhawks went on a 7-0 run behind kills from Sam Nowinski and Samantha Schlesman to blow the game open.
The second game proved pivotal. The teams went back and forth until late in the game, when a Clearwater tip landed just out of bounds to tie the score at 23.
Two points later, Seminole had a spike go out of bounds to give Clearwater a 25-24 lead. Sara Myslicki then tipped a ball just over the net and barely in bounds to give the Tornadoes the game.
“There always seems to be a pivotal game and that was it for us,” Betourne said. “That came at just the right time.”
With the momentum, Clearwater went on to win the third game. But Seminole fought back in the fourth. Tied at 23 after a Sam Reeves kill, Seminole got the final two points on a missed spike by Clearwater and a Schlesman block.
In Game 5, the teams traded points early when the score was tied 6-6. But Clearwater scored four straight to get a much needed cushion. Seminole was never able to get the lead back, and Reeves ended the match with a kill.
Myslicki led the Tornadoes with 14 kills. Haley Barrett had six aces and Darby Oakes had eight digs.
Schlesman and Amber Peone led the Warhawks with 10 kills each.
Both teams are back in action Wednesday, with two matches in PCAC tournament pool play.
Rodney Page can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.