ST. PETERSBURG — Look around the Northside Christian gym and you may notice something missing — a volleyball banner.
But it won't be long until one is proudly hanging.
The Mustangs defeated Bradenton Prep 25-11, 25-11, 23-25, 25-6 Thursday to clinch their first championship.
"I wanted this pretty bad because our athletic director told us we didn't have a Bay Conference banner for volleyball," sophomore spiker Jennica Mullins said.
"I can't even explain it," senior spiker Callie Hasko said. "We wanted that banner so bad. We were determined to win it all."
In the first two games, Bradenton Prep (18-7) managed just five points off its own serve. In the third game, Northside Christian (19-6) lost its intensity and Bradenton Prep took advantage, but it didn't take long for the Mustangs to refocus.
"We wanted this in three games and losing one just brought our fire back," Hasko said. "We had a burst of energy left."
In the fourth and deciding game, Northside Christian jumped out to a 7-0 lead behind consecutive service points by junior Kayla Turner. Through those first six points, Bradenton Christian was unable to return a serve. On the seventh, a return did reach the top of the net, but Mullins slammed her hardest spike of the night.
"I was making a point," she said.
The Panthers went the entire fourth game without scoring an offensive point. Hasko finished the game with 15 kills, 13 digs and three blocks. Mullins had 12 kills and three blocks. Turner had 13 assists and Tiffany Boyer had 15 digs.