Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

4A volleyball: Nature Coast shakes off playoff slump

BROOKSVILLE — In past seasons, Nature Coast has looked dominant in the regular season, then fizzled come playoff time.

Wednesday night in a Class 4A region quarterfinal, the Sharks were determined to start the postseason off right with a three-game sweep of Ridgewood 25-18, 25-18, 25-19.

The Sharks (21-8) were led by senior captain Alex Livengood (17 kills, three aces) and sophomore hitter Courtney Liddle (19 kills, four aces).

Liddle and Livengood formed a one-two punch on the outsides that the Ridgewood returners could not overcome.

"I feel kind of relieved we got past this," Livengood said. "We just need to keep going and keep playing harder."

Nature Coast trailed for a good portion of both the first and second games as the Rams (19-9) came out hot. In Game 1, Ridgewood went up 7-0 early and didn't relinquish the lead until the Sharks went up 18-17. From there, the Rams scored only once more. The Sharks didn't get their first edge in Game 2 until 16-15.

"That was definitely uncharacteristic of us this year," Nature Coast coach Dan Murphy said, "but this team does not give up."

Senior hitter Sarangelys Cruz (11 kills), Ridgewood's leader in kills all season, did the best she could to keep her team alive. When the Sharks began reel off late game runs, however, the Rams had no answer.

Nature Coast ends a five-season slump in the state playoffs. The Sharks have qualified for the postseason in each of the past five years and lost in the first round each time.

"It wasn't an easy breakthrough," Murphy said. "We wanted to get to places we've never been, and now we're there."

Nature Coast d>> Ridgewood


25-18, 25-18, 25-19

up next

Region volleyball semifinals

Tuesday at 7 p.m.

4A: Nature Coast at Hudson

4A volleyball: Nature Coast shakes off playoff slump 11/04/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 4, 2009 10:44pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Florida State sees plenty of upside in Dade City native Jacob Pugh

    College

    TALLAHASSEE — No, Florida State senior Jacob Pugh is not as versatile as teammate Derwin James.

     Florida State Seminoles linebacker Jacob Pugh (16) and Florida State Seminoles defensive end DeMarcus Walker (44) celebrate after sacking the Miami quarterback Saturday October 8, 2016 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.
  2. 247Sports: Berkeley Prep's Nicholas Petit-Frere top OT in nation

    Footballpreps

    Berkeley Prep offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere already is widely considered the best player in Tampa Bay.

    Berkeley Prep rising senior defensive end Nicholas Petit-Frere (78) performs a pad drill during spring football practice at Berkeley Prep in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, May 12, 2017.
  3. Full disclosure: My AP Top 25 ballot

    Blogs

    Now that you've seen the preseason AP Top 25, here's what I submitted in my first year as a voter. The AP doesn't give us many guidelines in the preseason. I didn't try to predict how …

  4. AP Top 25: Alabama first, FSU, UF, Miami and USF all in top 20

    Blogs

    As expected, Alabama will start the season at No. 1 in the AP Top 25.

  5. HomeTeam 25: Football rankings for Tampa Bay

    Footballpreps

    Armwood High School quarterback Devin Black (7) hands the ball off to running back Larry Anderson (13) during the Spring Football Jamboree in Seffner, Fla. on Thursday, May 18, 2017.