ST. PETERSBURG — Not only did Canterbury learn how to put together a come-from-behind rally, but the Crusaders also learned the importance of finishing it.
Canterbury (23-5) will play its first Class A region semifinal in school history next week at home, but that achievement did not come without some tense moments in a 25-18, 25-27, 26-24, 25-18 victory over Southwest Florida Christian Academy (16-4) Tuesday night.
The Crusaders breezed through the first game but fell behind in the second 12-21. Then after gaining possession, with Mansie Hough serving, Canterbury scored 11 unanswered points for a shocking rally and a 23-21 lead. But the Crusaders didn't finish the job.
The Kings rallied for 24-all and 25-all before grabbing the game 27-25.
After only two games Canterbury was on a roller coaster, but Hough said it did the team some good.
"This whole season we have been the kind of team that if we lose, we come back with twice the amount of intensity," she said.
In the third game Southwest led 24-20 and was one point from taking a 2-1 lead, but Canterbury got the possession back and put together another rally — this time finishing it. Alexis Conway served five unanswered points and the Crusaders took the game 26-24.
The fourth game was a relaxing breather compared with the previous two.
Hough finished the game with 16 points, including seven aces and 10 kills. Conway collected 13 points, including three aces. Megan Burgess had six kills.