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Hudson makes it a sweep of SAC volleyball

The Hudson volleyball team held on to its perfect conference record Tuesday with an 8-15, 16-14, 15-8 victory over 1991 district champion Land O'Lakes.

The Gators were the only squad in the eight-school Sunshine Athletic Conference Hudson hadn't played yet. The Cobras' win made it a sweep, improving them to 7-0 in the SAC, 8-1 overall. Hudson's only loss was to Hernando to open the season.

Hudson coach Linda McQuade said the team's serving is consistent across the board.

"It's been a lot of teamwork," she said. "Everybody does their job."

That includes senior Jen Ball, whose consistent setting has been a big key in the Cobras' near-flawless record.

"She does her job accurately," McQuade said.

All the girls have been playing exceptionally well, McQuade said, but she noted the strong hitting of juniors Janet Overbaugh and Rachel Sanchez.

Meanwhile, Land O'Lakes coach Jerry Stacy was hoping the Hudson match would be a turning point for his squad, which is 3-4 both in the SAC and in regular-season matches, but is 6-9 overall including tournaments.

After a slow start, the Gators performed well at the Florida State tournament to finish 3-3.

"I really felt that coming back from the tournament, where we turned around and played very well, the girls would play well against Hudson," Stacy said. "But we're not playing anywhere near the potential we (have)."

Stacy said the team is not responding well to pressure and failing in the clutch. But he did note the play of senior transfer GorettyMorales, the team's setter.

"She has done a fabulous job," he said. "She's a very strong server and a hard worker on the floor."

Ridgewood meet Saturday: Coming off a strong performance at the University of Florida Gator Invitational, Ridgewood High hosts a cross country meet Saturday with a tiny but powerful field.

The Rams join defending Class 2A state champion Admiral Farragut, Class 3A powerhouse Leto, Winter Park, and locals Hudson and River Ridge. The girls varsity race is at 9 a.m., boys at 9:30.

Meet director Glenn Cable was hoping for a larger field, but lost several local teams to Saturday's Central meet and then Hernando, Venice and Estero dropped out.

The Ridgewood girls squad will be without No. 2 runner Michelle Trylko, who is taking the Scholastic Aptitude Test.

Matt Leigh and Jeremy Sample finished sixth (16:42) and seventh (16:43) respectively at the Gator 5K meet. Matt Krcmaric finished 23rd in 17:02 as Ridgewood placed third overall out of 56 high schools and was the top 3A finisher.

The Rams girls finished sixth overall, second out of the 3A teams behind Cardinal Gibbons. Stacey Jones, a sophomore, led the squad by placing 23rd in 21:40.

Cable said the conditions were not great.

"It was a monsoon," he said. "At some points on the course you simply couldn't see. There was a point where you had to run through a 2-foot (deep) pond. It wasn't a puddle; it was a pond. It was wet, muddy, and crowded. Considering that, I was thrilled with how we did."