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All that's left for Hurricanes to do is to keep on winning

Citrus High volleyball coach Pat King has done everything she can for the Hurricanes.

Now it's up to the team.

With the Class 4A, District 7 title secured, the Hurricanes now set their sights on Tuesday's regional quarterfinal against District 8 runner-up Zephyrhills at Citrus.

District 7 runner-up Lecanto will travel to Hudson for its quarterfinal match Tuesday.

Over the past several weeks, King has altered the Hurricanes' rotations, run countless drills, and tried to impress upon them the importance of taking care of the small details.

Now, it's time to put it to the ultimate test: championship-caliber competition.

"From now on, we just try to polish," King said Thursday night. "If we have mistakes or we have areas where we're not doing something, then we try to fix those. You can't change anything. You just hope and pray you don't get hurt and you don't have to change something.

"Now we just try to work on the little itty, bitty things they get tired of me and they don't understand, but it's the little bitty things that win matches for you."

Maybe they really do understand. Before last Thursday's District 7 final, the players gathered on the court, just a few feet from where the game would take place. Then each player was asked to look deep into herself and come up with answers to the question, "What does it take to win?"

"Everybody had to answer when it came around to them," senior Christine Susi said. "We came up with 14 different things _ good hitting, passing, serving, staying focused. And then we went out and played just like we said we needed to. We played the second game like it was the first game and we just never let up."

The task at hand may be a little more difficult for the Hurricanes. The opponent is the district runner-up, but is ranked No. 9 in the state, having lost its district title to Hudson, the state's No. 3 Class 4A team.

But the Hurricanes are hoping that home-court advantage will be more than just an overused cliche.

"I think it will be a major advantage, especially with such a young team," Susi said.

"I think home could be important," King said. "When we were playing in 5A (last season), home was definitely important because the (travel) distances were so significant then. This one is a 1{-hour drive and that could still be significant. If your team's in shape and is mentally ready, it's not going to matter as much because it's not like you're going on a 4-hour trip.

"Hopefully, we'll have a good crowd, we'll have good support."