BRANDON — It was pretty much just as coach Amy Watson had feared: another typical playoff game for her Brandon Eagles.
Last year the Eagles dropped the first game in all three postseason matches and did it again Wednesday.
The Eagles eventually soared to a 21-25, 25-16, 25-16, 25-21 victory over Ridgewood in a Class 5A region quarterfinal.
Brandon (24-1) has now lost the first game of five straight postseason matches dating to 2004. But it has won three of those, all against Pasco County teams.
Wednesday, the Eagles' multi-hitter attack finally started putting pressure on the Rams overmatched blockers and defense in overcoming another slow start.
"I don't understand how they come out here with the deer-in-the-headlights look,'' Watson said. "I was sitting on the bench saying, 'are you kidding me?' "
The Eagles were more mistake prone than manhandled in the opening game. They won Games 2 and 3 handily, opening 10-3 and 12-4 leads, respectively, behind the net play of Audra Geniesse, Lindsey Watson and Aly Woodlee.
In the final game, Ridgewood (14-10) led 21-19 before the Eagles scored the final six points.
Geniesse had three kills in the final spurt, finishing with 15. Woodlee had 18 kills, and Watson had 10 and 16 assists.
"That really prevented us from getting into our attack,'' said coach Amber Starkey, whose Rams managed only five blocks. "I think they mixed some things up after that first game and the timing was off for our blockers and we were never able to recover.''