Lakeside Christian coach Janell Marple never gets tired of seeing the Zschau family name on her team's roster. A good thing, since she has two sisters (Kim and Kristin) on the front line for her 6-3 team, and another (Kira) coming off the bench. And with one a sophomore and the other an eighth-grader, she can count on seeing the name for a while.
"I am really loooking forward to having them on the team for the next couple of years," said Marple. "They are all very responsive to instructions, and do exactly what I ask them to do. And they are both very aggressive at the net."
The 6-foot Kim and the 5-10 Kristin have starred on offense and defense this season. The pair have 120 kills between them, and have combined for 13 service aces and nearly 30 blocks.
Kristin was the first to get into volleyball "just for fun" as a sixth-grader at St. Mark's Christian School. Kim started in seventh grade at Lakeside, and Kira followed after that.
Outside of camp, which the sisters attend during the summer, they don't play an inordinate amount of volleyball in the off-season. But they all communicate when they are on the court together, passing out pointers and technical tips.
"Its kind of nice (being on the same team)," said Kim, a sophomore. "We work well together, and it helps us as a team."
On the rebound: Just because you have a winning record doesn't mean things can't get tough. Pinellas Park High caught a double whammy recently. First, junior outside hitter Jenny Orr went into the hospital last week with a growth behind her tonsils. She got out at 9 a.m. Saturday, the day tornadoes hit the area. One of the homes in the heavily damaged section of Pinellas Park belonged to former Patriot Kristi Parsons, the team MVP last year, currently playing for Pasco-Hernando Community College.
"It's been really terrible," said coach Holly Miller. "We went to watch her (Parsons) play (Tuesday) and this weekend we are going to help her clean up."
The Patriots cut the number of undefeated teams in the county to one, defeating Seminole 15-10, 15-13 last Wednesday. The Patriots are now 3-1 against the Warhawks this season, losing to them in pool play at the Keswick Tournament last month.
The Patriots put together a string of points in fending off the Warhawks in last week's first game 15-10. After falling behind 10-1 in the second game, Pinellas Park put on a dramatic rally, led by reserves Kristi Beatty, Tracy Schroeder and experienced seniors Regan Hensley and Nicole Smith. Pinellas Park came from behind, tied at 13-13, and won when freshman Schroeder ended the game with two service aces.
That leaves 7-0 Clearwater as the only undefeated team in the county. The Tornadoes were scheduled to meet Northeast on Wednesday.
Spartan spirit: Lakewood moved over the .500 mark with a 15-12, 15-10 upset of Seminole on Tuesday. That win moved the Spartans to 4-3, equaling their conference win total from last season (4-10 PCAC, 5-16 overall).
"It was a good win for the team," said coach and Lakewood grad Kaylyn Bayly. "I'd like to say we played great, but we didn't. It wasn't anything flashy."
Senior captain Ashley LeFevre, an outside hitter, was a standout in the win over Seminole, but the entire team has improved since the beginning of the season.
"Their passing is one thing," said Bayly. "And their hitting. They didn't have much of an offense before, and now they are just realizing what it is to spike the ball hard. At the beginning it seemed like they were used to losing, and I had to tell them that they could be winners. Beating someone we weren't expected to beat is a big help."
Good performance: Northside Christian's Jenny Hester, a setter, was 20-20 hitting with 12 kills in two games last week, and had a 93 percent good-serve percentage. Hester had seven aces and 11 points in a 15-1, 15-8 win over Shorecrest on Thursday. Northside is 3-3 in Class A-District 10 and 7-5 overall.
_ Times correspondent Wayne McKnight contributed to this report.
PINELLAS VOLLEYBALL STANDINGS
Pinellas Park 6-1
Tarpon Springs 6-1
East Lake 2-3
Dixie Hollins 1-5
Boca Ciega 1-8
St. Petersburg 0-6