The Seabreeze volleyball team was defeated in straight sets by Matanzas in the Sandcrabs' final home game of the regular season on the night of Tuesday, Oct. 10.
Down 24-19 in the third set, the Seabreeze volleyball team was on the ropes.
When Matanzas’ soft, blooping serve found the hands of Sandcrabs hitter Harlyn Kaler, the ball popped straight up into the air. The rest of the Seabreeze team just stared at the ball as it plummeted to the court to end the set — and the match.
For Kaler and two of her teammates, the miscue was their final play ever on the court at Seabreeze High School.
“It was a hard game,” said Kaler, a senior and three-year varsity player for Seabreeze. “It’s hard to lose on senior night, but we just have to pick ourselves up and play better.”
In the last home game of the season, the Sandcrabs were taken in straight sets by the Pirates on the night of Tuesday, Oct. 10. In addition to Kaler, it was the last home game for back row player Ashlynn Humphreys and hitter Sam Nelson.
Kaler led the Sandcrabs, which were defeated by the Pirates on the road earlier in the season, with seven kills and a match-high 20 digs.
“You know what? We played hard,” Seabreeze coach Tarisa Craig-Craggy said. “We didn’t have enough to win the game, but they fought.”
The Sandcrabs led early in every single set. They led by as much as five points before dropping the first set 25-22. The Sandcrabs were up 11-8 before the Pirates stormed back to clinch the second set 25-21. And in the third set, the Pirates, staring down an 11-6 deficit, battled back to tie the game at 12 and ultimately took the final frame 25-19.
In the end, Humphreys wasn’t too worried about the loss or the fact that her volleyball career at Seabreeze is nearing its end. She was more focused on making the most of her opportunities.
“I couldn't really care less if we win or lose,” said Humphreys, who has played for the Sandcrabs since her freshman year. “It’s my teammates, and it’s my senior year. I just want to make the best out of it.”
With the conclusion of Tuesday’s match, Seabreeze will not play at home until the 2018 season begins. However, one remaining regular season match — an away contest against Mainland — stands in between the Sandcrabs and postseason play: Districts start on Monday, Oct. 16.
Craig-Craggy said her seniors know now is not the time to let up.
“They’re not ready to give up,” Craig-Craggy said. “It was an emotional night tonight, but they’re ready to fight and keep going. Last home game, yes, but they know it’s not the end.”