St. Petersburg Catholic coach Barbara Shames found out three days ago the starting time of Tuesday's home match against Clearwater Central Catholic was moved up two hours in order to have enough officials.
The Barons apparently didn't get the message. They were in a funk early, down 4-3 in the first game and needing a spark.
Enter Catherine DuPont.
The 6-foot-4 senior middle blocker started taking her swings. She led all players with 14 kills and got the Barons into a rhythm as they won 15-6, 15-5.
"We weren't playing that great, and I wanted to do something to help my team," DuPont said. "I think I can do more at the net, and when I was up there, I was able to do a lot. That's my home; right there in the net."
The result was 12 kills in the first game, all of which came after her team fell behind. It ended up being the turning point.
"We look to her for offense and leadership," Shames said. "But she also played very well on defense. That's one of her goals, to improve defensively. I really thought defense was going to be the key for us. We did a good job of picking up their hits. Nothing touched the floor."
Meanwhile, the Marauders' defense didn't recover from DuPont's early barrage. To make matters worse, CCC was called for a uniform violation. The players' Spandex shorts didn't match, leading to a sideout to start the second game. Also, Marauders coach Bill Warnock was issued a yellow card after questioning a call.
But DuPont didn't just hurt CCC with kills. She showed other facets of her game late in the match. She had two blocks, two service aces and had several digs. Just for good measure, she added two more kills at the end, one for sideout and the other for match point.
"We really needed this match because it was a district match," DuPont said. "Yeah, we pretty much took over. I don't know why, but it seemed like they stopped playing."