Saturday, November 18, 2017
Sports

Volleyball: Poised PHU turns back Osceola

RECOMMENDED READING


SEMINOLE — The opportunity was there for Osceola, at least momentarily, to unseat perennial power Palm Harbor University in conference pool play and help shift the balance of power from the north part of the county to the south.

In the first game of Wednesday's match, the Warriors held a 24-22 lead, one point from taking control early. But the lead evaporated as the Hurricanes reeled off four straight points to win, 26-24.

With the chance to seize momentum wiped away, Osceola watched as PHU won the next two games, 25-15 and 25-20, to sweep.

"We're young and still growing as a team," Warriors coach Ryan Kramer said. "I think losing that late lead got in their head a little bit and sucked the air out of them. If we were allowed to call a 20-minute timeout to let them take a deep breath and relax, I think we would have been okay."

Osceola (5-4) built a lead in the first game thanks to libero Katie Newman, who kept balls in play that otherwise would have gone for points.

"That was Katie's best match of the year," Kramer said. "She kept us in the game early."

The Hurricanes (9-2) rallied in the first game with solid serves and the ability to direct shots away from Newman.

"To be honest, I thought we were lucky to pull out the first game," PHU coach Tara Kuk said. "We really didn't play well most of the match, which was disappointing, especially after the way we played the night before."

The Hurricanes were coming off perhaps their biggest win of the season, a five-game victory over district rival Bradenton Manatee that put PHU in position to still claim the top seed.

If there was a letdown, it was erased after pulling through the first game Wednesday.

PHU bore down to take the next two games. The only suspense came in the third when the Hurricanes scored four of the final five points to pull away in what was a tight game.

PHU turned things around by dominating at the net. Naomi Mack had 13 kills and Jazmine Barker had 11 to lead the Hurricanes' attack.

"In the last two games we played better defensively, and we were strong at the net," Kuk said. "But overall, I know we can play way better than that."

Comments

Region football: Clearwater Central Catholic 37, Calvary Christian 10

CLEARWATER — The ice bath ensued for Clearwater Central Catholic coach Chris Harvey after the Marauders’ 37-10 victory over Calvary Christian in Friday’s Class 3A region final. The win placed the Marauders (11-0) in their fifth state tournament since...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Region football: Plant 22, Viera 18

Region football: Plant 22, Viera 18

MELBOURNE — With 1 yard separating Plant from an incredible come-from-behind victory, or a devastating defeat, it all came down to a matter of trust.And for Panthers coach Robert Weiner, there was no one he would put more faith in to get that 1 yard ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Region football: Armwood 22, Hillsborough 0

Region football: Armwood 22, Hillsborough 0

SEFFNER — Hillsborough conquered one nemesis with last week’s win over Class 6A defending state finalist Lake Gibson, the team that knocked the Terriers out of the playoffs in the first round a year ago.But there was an even bigger stumbling block to...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Region football: Ocala Vanguard 35, Mitchell 31

NEW PORT RICHEY — The start wasn’t quite befitting of a playoff game between undefeated teams, but the end of Friday’s war between Ocala Vanguard and Mitchell certainly was.Like last year’s Class 6A regional semifinal, the Mustangs held a three-point...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Region football: Green Cove Springs Clay 52, Zephyrhills 49

Region football: Green Cove Springs Clay 52, Zephyrhills 49

ZEPHYRHILLS — For Zephyrhills, Friday night’s Class 5A region semifinal against Green Cove Springs Clay was doomed by 12 bad minutes. The Bulldogs led by four points at halftime but allowed 28 unanswered points in the third quarter and were not able ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Region football: Lakewood 20, Jesuit 7

Region football: Lakewood 20, Jesuit 7

ST. PETERSBURG — Lakewood came into Friday’s playoff game knowing its defense had to help control field position against Jesuit. The Spartans (9-1) left Friday’s game with a ticket to Immokalee for a region final — and six Tigers (6-5) turnovers en r...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Region football: Tampa Bay Tech 42, Palmetto 26

TAMPA — Another Friday night, another offensive explosion.Tampa Bay Tech’s offense continued its torrid pace and quarterback Michael Penix Jr. accounted for five total touchdowns as the Titans rolled past Palmetto 42-26 in a Class 7A, Region 3 semifi...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Region football: Cambridge Christian 50, Indian Rocks Christian 14

TAMPA — The Cambridge Christian offense was clicking, and quarterback Jaylin Jackson couldn’t seem to be stopped. Still, as the second quarter clock dwindled, Indian Rocks Christian was hanging around.So with just more than a minute left in the half,...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Region football: Naples 24, Largo 0

NAPLES — In a game between two teams that had never met with a lot on the line, the Naples defense came up with one of its best efforts against Largo on Friday night.The Golden Eagles limited the Packers to 117 yards of offense in a 24-0 triumph in t...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Region football: Lakeland 52, Wiregrass Ranch 0

LAKELAND — It has been a historic season for the Wiregrass Ranch Bulls football team, which made consecutive playoff appearances for the first time, won its most games ever and experienced its first playoff victory.If this were a movie, the final sce...
Updated: 9 hours ago