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Hernando gets sloppy victory

As an undefeated team ranked among the state's best, Hernando can afford to make mistakes and still win.

The scoreboard is more lenient than coach Dena Frye, however.

"Our serves were horrendous," Frye said after Hernando improved to 5-0 with a 15-8, 15-12 victory at Central on Tuesday. "It shouldn't have lasted as long as it did. We just couldn't get our serves in."

Eight service errors is something Hernando can work on. Senior Chrissy Hartley's dislocated finger might be a bigger problem.

Hartley, an all-conference selection last year and the Leopards' top outside hitter, dislocated the index finger on her right hand while making a kill on the third-to-last point of the match.

"She begged me not to take her out," said Frye, who sent Hartley to the hospital immediately after the match. "That last ball, she mis-spiked it and hit it with nothing but her finger. She was playing in a lot of pain, but she's very tough."

Frye didn't know how long Hartley would be out. The Leopards, tied for seventh in the opening Class 4A state poll, have a home match tonight against Citrus then five days off before facing No. 6 Lecanto on Monday.

"Normally, you'll get jammed fingers and it's no big deal, but this is more severe than that," Frye said. "We'll just see what the doctors say."

The Leopards used an 8-2 run to finish Central in the first game but had more trouble in the second. Central led 7-3 and 10-7 as Hartley and junior Bernice Mosby combined for seven hitting errors. The two came around, however, combining for seven kills the rest of the way as Hernando again ended the game with an 8-2 run. Mosby finished with a game-high eight kills, and Hartley had five blocks to go with her five kills.

Central coach Jim Jensen said the Bears (4-4) weren't intimidated by the Leopards but simply sent too many first passes over the net.

"We set them better than their setter did," Jensen said. "We made mistakes that led to their victory. We lost the game. It's not that they actually won it. Don't get me wrong. They're a good team. They're probably the best all-around team right now.

"We weren't even supposed to be in this match. They took advantage of a lot of our mistakes."