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SEMINOLE — For two games Tuesday, nothing seemed to go right for Seminole. Passes were errant. Hits were off. Serves were wide.
“We were like three blind mice out on the court,” Warhawks coach Dexter Rogers said. “We couldn’t pass. We couldn’t move. We needed to have some of the young girls catch up to the speed of the game.”
Once the wide-eyed nervousness wore off, Seminole started to relax. That’s when the volleyballs started flying over the arms of St. Petersburg players.
Ultimately, the Warhawks survived an incredibly close five-game match, rallying from a two-game deficit to win 16-25, 22-25, 25-15, 25-15, 15-11.
“We shuffled a few things around with the lineup and things started to turn from there,” Rogers said. “But the biggest thing is we stopped over-thinking and started to have fun out there.”
In the third game, Rogers used Tori Ligrani as the libero. Her passing helped ignite the comeback. Most of those passes were directed toward 6-foot-1 middle blocker Marissa Lisenbee, who jumped higher, drove the ball harder and certainly had more fun than anyone else on the floor.
Lisenbee came through in the pivotal fourth game. With Seminole clinging to a 13-12 lead, Lisenbee took advantage of being in the front row and scored on five kills and two blocks to put her team ahead 22-15. She closed out the game by serving the final three points, including an ace.
“There’s a lot riding on my shoulders as a senior on a young team,” said Lisenbee, who had a team-high 21 kills, 17 digs and six blocks. “I knew if I stepped up when we needed it, everyone would see that and play that much harder.”
Amber Peone had 14 kills and five blocks and Jennie Sittloh had 47 assists for the Warhawks. But the night belonged to Lisenbee, who finished the match by driving the ball onto an open spot for a kill.
“This is a match we needed to boost our confidence,” Rogers said.