Thursday, May 24, 2018
Sports

Volleyball: Steinbrenner heeds advice in sweep of Wiregrass

WESLEY CHAPEL — After winning the first two games Tuesday night, Steinbrenner trailed Wiregrass Ranch by four points late in the third. Warriors coach Laura Stegenga called her team to a tight huddle.

Just play, she said. Aim for five points in a row.

The Warriors reached four, tying the game and eventually pulling ahead to sweep Wiregrass Ranch 25-20, 25-23, 25-23.

"We always talk about them having fun," Stegenga said. "They know how to work really hard, and sometimes they take themselves too seriously."

Steinbrenner (13-2, 5-0) scored 13 of the game's first 15 points and led the entire first game to jump ahead against the Bulls (12-4, 2-2) in a matchup between two of the top teams in Class 7A, District 8.

Stegenga said her players were on fire for the first game but slowed down in the second.

"We just have to work on finishing," she said.

Wiregrass reached its first tie early in the second game after an ace by senior Kayleigh Putman. The Bulls tied two more times in the game and pulled ahead for the first time in the match at 10-9 with a kill by freshman Madison Besterfield.

The teams battled back and forth, with a pattern of one-point leads and ties before a Wiregrass error gave Steinbrenner the second.

The Bulls led the third game in the beginning, earning three straight points and staying ahead until the Warriors tied them at 6-6 and 12-12. The Bulls continued to lead, reaching 19-15, until Stegenga called the timeout.

Junior Avery Bradshaw answered with three consecutive kills, and a Wiregrass error tied the game again. Senior Rachel Mathison added two kills in the closing minutes to help Steinbrenner seal its eighth consecutive win — and keep the Warriors atop the district.

Junior Lauren Heldt led with 12 kills, followed by junior Ashley Akers (11), Bradshaw (nine) and Mathison (nine).

Senior Grace Olsen led the Bulls with a match-high 13 kills.

Mary Kenney can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
Bucs’ Ali Marpet: NFL flip-flopping on anthem policy ‘a little bit odd’

Bucs’ Ali Marpet: NFL flip-flopping on anthem policy ‘a little bit odd’

TAMPA — This much is clear: The National Football League is focused on getting rid of kneeling players.That was the league's announcement Wednesday in requiring players to stand during the national anthem before games or possibly have their tea...
Updated: 7 minutes ago
Rays once again will ‘open’ with relievers this weekend

Rays once again will ‘open’ with relievers this weekend

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays weren't kidding about being serious that starting relievers gives them the best chance to win.So much so, they plan to do so again this weekend against the Orioles — in all three games. The plan is for Sergio Rom...
Updated: 20 minutes ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Thursday’s Rays-Red Sox game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Thursday’s Rays-Red Sox game

Home cooking clearly agrees with OF Denard Span. The 34-year-old Tampa product continues to deliver, producing at the plate, running the bases, making diving catches in the outfield, and Thursday, going over the short wall in hot pursuit.SS Willy Ad...
Updated: 28 minutes ago
When will the Lightning run out of wait-til-next-years?

When will the Lightning run out of wait-til-next-years?

TAMPA — Disbelief will eventually give way to acceptance.The Lightning isn't there yet.It isn't there yet in a lot of ways.Will it ever be?Just wondering.Really, what guarantees are there?Late Wednesday, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechki...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Fight off the frustration, Lightning, and don’t panic

Fight off the frustration, Lightning, and don’t panic

TAMPA — Don't change a thing.Don't blow it up. Don't fire anyone. Don't overreact.Thursday was not an easy day in Lightning Land. It was the day after the end of a season that ended much too soon. It was a day when bags were packed, questions w...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Front-end loaders will serve as coda to Tampa Bay Lightning’s wild ride

Front-end loaders will serve as coda to Tampa Bay Lightning’s wild ride

TAMPA — Hours before the puck dropped at Amalie Arena for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals, the ice crew boss talked about putting off any sign of the end for as long as possible."We don’t want to see the front-end loaders," says Tom Miracle, ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Lightning journal: Ryan Callahan, among others, played hurt

Lightning journal: Ryan Callahan, among others, played hurt

TAMPA — Not surprisingly, several Lightning players went through the playoffs with what general manager Steve Yzerman called "significant injuries."He would not elaborate Thursday on who they were, though he said that information will be made p...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Bucs sign defensive tackle Vita Vea, cornerback Carlton Davis to four-year deals

Bucs sign defensive tackle Vita Vea, cornerback Carlton Davis to four-year deals

Two high draft picks that could earn starting jobs signed four year contracts with the Bucs Thursday.The team signed Washington defensive tackle Vita Vea, the team's first-round pick.Terms of the deal were not released, but Vea  is expected to r...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rays tripling down on starting relievers vs. Orioles this weekend: Romo, Stanek, Romo

Rays tripling down on starting relievers vs. Orioles this weekend: Romo, Stanek, Romo

The Rays aren't kidding about being serious in using relievers to start games.After unveiling the strategy last weekend against the Angels, manager Kevin Cash said they planned to use it again, and he made that official on Thursday, naming Sergio Rom...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Bucs union rep Ali Marpet questions legality of the NFL’s new anthem policy

Bucs union rep Ali Marpet questions legality of the NFL’s new anthem policy

Bucs offensive lineman Ali Marpet questioned the legality of the NFL's new  policy that requires players to stand for the national anthem if they are on the field during the performance but gives them the option to remain in the locker room if t...
Updated: 7 hours ago