TAMPA — A couple days ago, Tampa Prep coach Andrew Wilson had a meeting with his team, during which he stressed the importance of closing out matches.
Wilson said he was pleased with his team’s performance against Westminster Christian in last weekend’s Berkeley Premier tournament. Two weeks ago the Terrapins played Berkeley Prep — arguably the best team in the county — and scored at least 20 points in three of the four games against the Buccaneers.
Still, in each of those two matches, the Terrapins walked away the loser. Tuesday, in a home match against Academy of Holy Names, Tampa Prep (5-6) ended its streak of failing at the last minute when it came back from a 2-0 deficit to beat the Jaguars 19-25, 16-25, 25-11, 25-18, 15-12.
“We just haven’t been able to finish,” a glowing Wilson said after the match. “To come back after being down 2-0 is a step in the right direction.”
The Terrapins started strong, scoring six of the first seven points in the first game. But as it continued, Jaguars senior Courtney Vogler found her stride, and the outside hitter’s kill forced a 13-13 tie to end Tampa Prep’s game-one lead.
Vogler had six kills in the first two games, both wins for AHN (7-6). Throughout the night, however, the Terrapin defense found an answer for the UNC-bound spiker.
Even though Vogler finished with 15 kills Tuesday, Tampa Prep blocked many of her hits and Ariana Mosley, who finished with a team-leading 19 digs, was able to keep many of Vogler’s hard-hit balls from hitting the court.
“We knew she was going to get swings,” Wilson said about Vogler. “We wanted to make sure the sets weren’t perfect, that they were out of system, that she was having to adjust so that she couldn’t just go up and terminate.”
Mosely was a bright spot for the Terrapins. She finished with a .414 hitting percentage, and she and junior outside hitter Corey Perkins led the team with 16 kills each.
In the third game, an AHN error gave the Terrapins a tiebreaking point, making the score 6-5. Tampa Prep scored 19 of the next 25 points to cruise to its first game win.
While Tampa Prep’s strong defense and Mosley’s accuracy served the home team well, the Terrapins also benefited from Holy Names errors. The Jaguars began the fifth and final game with a service error.
As far as Vogler was concerned, the game-opening mistake was fairly indicative of her team’s performance that night.
“We didn’t give up, but we just let ourselves down,” Vogler said. “We got a little too cocky.”