Make us your home page

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Countryside lapses nearly open door for Northside in five-setter

ST. PETERSBURG — With victory seemingly in its grasp Tuesday night, Countryside missed a couple serves, made a few errant passes and failed to convert two match points, all of which helped Northside Christian force a fifth set.

"After that, we could have folded," Countryside coach Kaylyn Bayly.

Instead, the Cougars rallied.

In the decisive game, Countryside put everything together in the nick of time to escape with a 22-25, 27-25, 25-14, 24-26, 15-11 win in a back-and-forth duel between two of the county's top squads.

"We were all talking to each other, and saying, 'Be strong, be smart,' " Countryside middle blocker Nicole Dunn said the Cougars players were telling one another before the final game.

Dunn (16 kills) was particularly clutch down the stretch, blasting several powerful spikes.

But make no mistake, this was a team effort for Countryside (18-1).

Outside hitter Davionna DiSalvatore (21 kills), as she often does, also came up big, middle blocker Shatia Wallace hit a handful of well-placed serves, setter Sara Wright (54 assists) ran the offense to perfection and middle blocker Savannah Stona put down a kill on match point.

"Volleyball is a game of momentum," Mustangs coach Kelly Jackson said. "We both had it at one point or another."

Early on, Northside Christian was the better team.

After rallying from an 11-6 hole to open the match, the Mustangs (11-5) took the opening game largely because of middle hitter Kayla Walton, who finished with 18 kills. In the second, Northside Christian played well but couldn't hold a 23-21 lead.

"We just started out flat," Bayly said. "We weren't playing well defensively, and we weren't moving our feet. We weren't ourselves."

By the middle of the fourth, Countryside had taken control.

Or so it seemed.

A DiSalvatore kill put the Cougars ahead 23-19, but Northside Christian rallied and Countryside wilted a bit. One point after a kill from middle hitter Jennica Mullins (14 kills, seven blocks) gave the Mustangs a 25-24 lead, they sent the match to the fifth set after a Cougars miss.

"I think we lost focus," Dunn said.

Thankfully for the Cougars, it was only a momentary lapse.

Countryside def>> Northside

22-25, 27-25, 25-14, 24-26, 15-11

Countryside lapses nearly open door for Northside in five-setter 10/13/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 13, 2009 11:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Florida Gators announce 2018 football schedule


    The Florida Gators announced their 2018 football schedule Tuesday, including an early SEC game against Kentucky and a matchup against Colorado State, which was part of coach Jim McElwain's buyout from the Rams.

  2. For starters: Rays vs. Cubs in Joe Maddon's return to Trop


    Joe Maddon's return to the Trop will be the main story tonight, but there is still a baseball game to be played, between a Cubs team surging toward another division title with six straight wins and a Rays team struggling to keep alive a longshot bid for the second AL wildcard spot.

    RHP Chris Archer will be on …

    Joe Maddon returns to Tropicana Field tonight for the first time since leaving the Rays to become manager of the Cubs.
  3. Cannon Fodder podcast: Bucs could run into their nemesis


    Greg Auman finishes wrapping up the Bucs' win against the Chicago Bears and looks ahead to Sunday's game at Minnesota, where Tampa Bay could run into nemesis Case Keenum, in our latest Cannon Fodder …

    Bucs outside linebacker Lavonte David (54) sacks Los Angeles Rams quarterback Case Keenum (17) during a 2016 game. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  4. Strange case: Bucs could face nemesis Case Keenum again


    Who, you might wonder, will be the first NFL quarterback to beat Jameis Winston three times?

    Case Keenum of the Minnesota Vikings drops back to pass in the first half Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. [Getty Images]
  5. USF men's basketball gets off lightly with NCAA


    Former USF men's basketball coach Orlando Antigua, center, with former assistants Oliver Antigua, left, and Rod Strickland during a game at the Sun Dome on Nov. 9, 2015. (Octavio Jones, Times)