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TRINITY — Tarpon Springs has quietly dominated Class 6A, District 10 and improved its record by sweeping Mitchell 31-29, 25-14, 25-21 Tuesday night.
The Mustangs controlled the opening game and had three opportunities to put away the Spongers, but Tarpon Springs coach Patrick Sneed had his team prepared.
“In practice we actually practice being down 23-21, just like we were,” Sneed said. “We practice things like that.”
After a timeout, Tarpon Springs (12-2, 5-0) capitalized on an out-of-bounds error by Mitchell’s Autumn Davis, then a block and a kill by Ashlyn MacGregor tied the game at 24.
Both teams continued to score at a torrid pace, with neither gaining an edge. Tied at 29, Tarpon’s Kelsi Collins placed an unchallenged teardrop kill followed by a Kaci Zambelli blast to win Game One.
“We trusted each other and we weren’t afraid to be aggressive, so that’s what helped us because we were just more aggressive,” said Collins, who finished with 15 kills and 16 digs.
The Spongers cruised through the second game, never giving up the lead after being down 1-0. Zambelli had three straight kills to put Tarpon up 16-6. She finished with seven kills and two blocks.
Mitchell (10-6, 6-3) continued to push hard through Game Three, leading 16-15, but Tarpon took advantage of late mistakes.
The Mustangs committed a team error by hitting the ball four times then Devon Felts blasted the ball into the net, giving the Spongers a one-point advantage. A quick kill by Zambelli and an ace by MacGregor gave Tarpon a 19-16 lead.
Down 24-21, Mitchell’s Catherine Peshek ended the match on an out-of-bounds serve.
“(Mitchell’s) a scrappy team so they fought back,” Sneed said. “They came out fired up in game three and they made us work for it.”