CLEARWATER — Seminole’s size at the net proved to be too much for Countryside to handle as the Warhawks picked up a big district win on the road Thursday night.
Samantha Schlesman, Ashley Hughes, Brittony Monty and Kona Peterson all stepped up with key blocks and game-controlling kills throughout a three-set sweep of their Class 7A District 9 foes.
“We definitely had a couple big blocks,” Seminole coach Dexter Rogers said. “Number 13 [Schlesman] and Number 8 [Hughes], they did a good job blocking for us and the girls in the back did a better job of passing tonight. That’s probably the best we played in three weeks.”
The victory improves Seminole to 9-5 overall and 1-1 in district play.
Countryside, playing for the third time in as many days, dropped its first non-tournament match of the season. The young Cougars (10-2, 2-1) struggled from the opening serve and could not manage to wrest momentum away from a game Warhawks squad.
“It was frustrating and they’re frustrated, too,” Countryside coach Kaylyn Bayly said. “We were flat and it was just one of those things where nothing was going right. We’ve had a bunch of matches in a row but that’s no excuse. We didn’t make any adjustments.”
The Cougars led just once during the night’s opening two sets, at 4-3 in the first. And while Seminole combined its play up front with some solid digging and hall handling from Amanda Mitchell and Alex Falcon to largely power its victory, unforced errors and miscommunication issues dogged Countryside all night.
“I explained to them, you’re not running cross country by yourself here,” Bayly said. “You have to communicate in volleyball, it’s huge, and we didn’t do a good job of that tonight.”
The Cougars put together their best all-around effort in the third and final set. Junior Delaney MacDonald began matching Seminole’s play at the net as the teams went back and forth before the Warhawks eventually pulled out a clinching 25-23 victory. Monty delivered a late block that broke a 23-23 tie and Mitchell ended it with a kill one point later.
Countryside now gets a four-day rest before jumping right back into league play on Tuesday when the Cougars travel to rival East Lake.
Seminole is also off until Tuesday. The Warhawks will try to run their current win streak to five at district-foe Northeast High.
Seminole - 25 – 25 – 25 --- 3
C-Side - 14 – 11 – 23 --- 0