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)

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

Loading...
  1. Yes, again: Rays blow late two-run lead, get swept by Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — As weekends go, this was a bad one for the Rays. In a word: brutal.

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Brad Boxberger, foreground, reacts after giving up a home run to Texas Rangers' Carlos Gomez during the eighth inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 23, 2017, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson) FLMC116
  2. As training camp looms, Jameis Winston starts throwing

    Blogs

    The start of Bucs training camp is mere days away -- rookies report Tuesday, veterans on Thursday, with the first practice Friday morning -- and quarterback Jameis Winston wrapped up his offseason by throwing out the ceremonial first pitch (video …

    Bucs QB Jameis Winston throws the ceremonial first pitch before Sunday's Rays-Rangers game at Tropicana Field. The Bucs report to training camp this coming week, with the first practice set for Friday morning.
  3. Storm routs Cleveland

    Storm

    TAMPA — Alvin Ray Jackson intercepted two passes, returning one for a touchdown, and recovered two fumbles as the Storm routed Cleveland 57-27 Saturday night in its home regular-season finale at Amalie Arena.