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)

Volleyball: Plant moves to 4-0 in district play

VALRICO — Last year, Plant was eliminated from the playoffs in the region quarterfinals for the second consecutive year, a short slump that ended a five-year state championship run.

Like in 2012, the Panthers are young. But Tuesday, in a 25-22, 25-14, 25-12 road win against district rival Bloomingdale, Plant's team chemistry showed second-year coach Jessica Lamm the height of the Panthers' potential.

"We've just been working very hard this whole season on jelling and coming together and really bringing each other up," she said. "It takes a level of comfort between them to be able to vocalize that, and today was the first day they did it."

The Bloomingdale gymnasium was packed Tuesday, in part because of the cancer awareness night held in conjunction with the district matchup. Panthers senior Kaitlyn Sibson, who finished with 10 kills and 16 digs, said she was pleased her team played with poise despite the large crowd.

The Bulls kept it close with the Panthers in the first game, one that featured eight tie scores. An ace from sophomore Ansley Gould broke the knotted score once and for all, and Plant won four of the final five points.

All night a feisty Plant defense minimized the effect of Bulls junior outside hitter Karissa Rhoades, one of the best players in the county. She finished with nine kills, down from her average of 5.3.

"If we can put some big hands in front of her, that's going to at least slow her down," Lamm said. "Karissa is a good player. She's going to get her kills. We just got to minimize the court that she can hit."

As the Panthers' teamwork grew throughout the night, their control over the games increased. After winning the second game, Plant scored 13 of the first 15 points in the third.

Six-foot-1 middle hitter Katherine Gabler, who led Plant with 12 kills, stepped up big in the final game. And with her benched teammates' fingers in the air, denoting match point, Sibson earned the winning kill.

Plant is 4-0 in the district after beating each district opponent once. Tuesday's match proved to Lamm her young players could use team chemistry to their advantage. It should show everyone else, Sibson said, that the Panthers, despite their inexperience, shouldn't be counted out.

"We came out here to prove that even though we have a young team, we're here to stay and we're here to win," Sibson said.

Volleyball: Plant moves to 4-0 in district play 09/17/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 11:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. U.S. repeats as Solheim Cup champion

    Golf

    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Lexi Thompson set the tone by rallying from four holes down. The rest of the Americans took it from there and restored their dominance in the Solheim Cup

    Lexi Thompson, left, comes back from four holes down to halve the day’s first singles match with Europe’s Anna Nordqvist to set the tone for the United States.
  2. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  3. Bucs journal: Demar Dotson (mild groin strain) expected back for opener

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The Bucs got good news Sunday on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI exam showed only a mild right groin sprain and who should be back at practice next week.

    Tackle Demar Dotson has only a mild groin strain.
  4. Bucs counting on better health creating better pass rush

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Ask Bucs coaches about the improved depth and health of their defensive line, and they'll look around for a piece of wood to knock on.

    Retired All-Pro defensive end  Simeon Rice, right, the last Buc to have double-digit sacks in a season,  works with defensive end Ryan Russell, who last season was promoted from the practice squad for the second half of the year as injuries piled up. He is competing for a backup job this year.
  5. Rays journal: Jake Faria heads to DL with left abdominal strain

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jacob Faria made the trek he didn't want to take after his last start. It was to the trainer's room. The pain in his left abdominal went from nagging to an issue during his start that night in Toronto.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jacob Faria (34) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 4, 2017.