NEW PORT RICHEY — Moments after a five-game victory that would've left most of her peers speechless, veteran Hudson coach Linda McQuade found one of her trademark folksy axioms to sum up her team's remarkable comeback Monday at Mitchell.
"We always say at Hudson that we don't take the interstate," McQuade quipped. "We like the old, country roads."
Translation: Instead of forging a deliberate path to victory in the Mustangs' gym, the Cobras (8-3) opted for the scenic route. On the brink of a sweep, Hudson tightened up defensively and took over at the net for a 25-27, 22-25, 25-20, 25-21, 15-8 triumph.
"We just had to push it as hard as we could," said rangy Cobras junior Shannon Zasloff (19 kills), whose move from the left side to the middle after Game 2 seemed to coincide with Hudson's comeback. "Anything we had left in us, we just had to give it our all."
The Cobras trailed by as many as six in Game 3 and eight in Game 4 before rallying primarily behind a front line that at times overwhelmed Mitchell's outsized lineup. Junior Jessica Imbimbo added 14 kills, while classmate Katy McGee tallied eight blocks.
Senior Haillie Bislick contributed 12 kills and had two aces in Game 5, when the Cobras broke out to an 8-1 lead that proved insurmountable.
"We play a style that is not an intimidating style. We lost all our big girls from last year," said Mustangs coach Keith Paulk, whose team fell to 8-4.
"We just have to dig balls and counterattack — that has got to be good enough. We get very few points at the net because we have no big girls. … Now we're pretty efficient, but things can get away from us."