ST. PETERSBURG — If there were any doubt Northside Christian is one of the most improved teams in the area this season, it was erased Tuesday night against Calvary Christian. After dropping the first game, the Mustangs stormed back to win the next three and defeat its Class 3A-9 rival 22-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-13.
"I hope that everybody sees that Northside is on the map now," said coach Julius Hasko, whose Mustangs were 8-14 last season. "Honestly, I didn't think we would do this to this team."
The Warriors were short-handed with outside hitter Savannah Plentovich was out with an ankle injury. But it didn't seem to matter in the first game.
Calvary Christian led for most of the game but the Mustangs (10-2) came back to tie at 20. The Warriors capitalized on errors and a kill by Anna Vollmer to close out the game.
In the second game, Calvary (6-5) jumped out to a 10-6 lead but Northside chipped away and then went on a 6-0 run to take a 14-12 lead. Paced by four kills from Megan Tozour, including one on the final point, the Mustangs were able to tie the match.
In the third game there were five ties, the last being 20-all. After that, Northside's front line of Lauren Clendening, Dani Bierman, Hannah Artille and Tozour each had kills to put away the game.
"That was a big one for us," Tozour said. "We were so fired up to play them and then we lost the first game. We said we were going to win the next three, and we did that."
After a 3-3 tie in the fourth game, Northside went on a 10-2 run and led 13-5. The advantage went to 18-8 and the Warriors closed it out.
"We've been known in the past as being a scrappy team with not a lot of weapons," Hasko said. "This year we have enough weapons. Hannah Artille, our setter, and Megan Tozour, our outside hitter, are club players and they have been the weapons for us."
Two big district matches await Northside, Oct. 1 against Indian Rocks Christian and Oct. 8 at Clearwater Central Catholic.