Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

MUSTANGS AVENGE LOSS | Lakewood Ranch Sweeps Past Sarasota

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

MUSTANGS AVENGE LOSS | Lakewood Ranch Sweeps Past Sarasota

Article excerpt

VOLLEYBALL

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- After losing at Sarasota 12 days ago, Lakewood Ranch High volleyball coach Perri Hankins did not know if it would be good for her team or not.

Since it did not count toward the district record, there was no better time for the Mustangs to fall to a Sailors team they dominated during the past few years.

This time it counted, and Lakewood Ranch was a much different team.

The Mustangs took a commanding lead in the first set and never looked back, rolling to a 3-0 victory over Sarasota 25-9, 25-13, 25- 16 in a Class 7A-District 11 match Tuesday night at Lakewood Ranch High.

The five-set loss to the Sailors on Sept. 10 in Sarasota did not have any lingering effects on the Mustangs.

"Obviously, we wanted to get back, I don't know if you want to call it revenge," Hankins said. "We feel like we are better now, and we would have a better match against Sarasota than last time."

The Mustangs also quickly shook off the effects of Monday night's non-district loss at Riverview, when they fell behind early and had their rally come up short, to focus on the most important match of the season to date.

"We're a really young team," said junior libero Ande McDonald, one of the nine underclassmen on the

10-player roster. It's hard for us to gel and have consistency, just because we have a bunch of new girls.

"Tonight, it was the fact it was Sarasota and they are a rival, like Braden River. They beat us last time, but it could have gone either way. So we know we can take them. We just came out and did what we needed to do."

McDonald got the Mustangs (8-6; 2-1 in 7A-11) off to a tremendous start, serving the first 13 points of the match.

"That took a lot of pressure off not only me, but the entire team," McDonald said. "We kept the lead too."

The second set began 8-1. The third opened 3-0 and 14-5.

"We weren't happy about losing to Riverview," Hankins said. "We got off to a really slow start with them and we came back and ran out of gas. We knew this was a big match tonight as far as seedings in the districts. We talked about last night, and we talked about what we needed to do against Sarasota. …

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