“It’s always a great match between us and mainland; they are always so competitive.”
Coach Tarisa Craig-Craggy walked off of Mainland’s court disappointed because she felt a bad call had caused her team the victory in Seabreeze and Mainland’s first bout of the season, but, she was well pleased with her Lady Sandcrabs’ marathon victory over Mainland 25-21, 21-25, 25-21, 22-25 and 15-7 on Thursday, Oct. 8, at Seabreeze.
“Before the game, I said to the girls, ‘We’re getting better all year, but good teams have to finish,’” Craig-Craggy said. “They proved it tonight. Everything has finally clicked, and It feels amazing!”
After Seabreeze edged Mainland in the first set 25-21, the Lady Bucs returned the favor, going on a late run to even the set count. Then, the Sandcrabs began to find open spots in Mainland’s defense and seemed benefit the most on the long rallies, which allowed them to take a 2-1 set lead. Needing just six points to win the match, Seabreeze wasn’t able to hold on the to the fourth-set lead, and the Bucs snatched the lead and won that set to force a final set, but the Sandcrabs rushed out to a lead that they were never in jeopardy of losing.
“Seabreeze played a good game,” coach Sandy Garner said. “They made a lot less mistakes than the first time we played them, and they made a lot of crazy balls that they were able to get back over. I think both teams played and fought hard, but we have to work on our serving and receiving."
Sandcrabs’ stats leaders were Isabel Harris, who finished with 15 kills, eight aces and 38 digs, and Vail Linn, who had nine kills and 23 digs. Shannon Stack also had 29 assists, five aces, five kills and 22 digs.
For the Lady Bucs, Tori Huffman, who recently became Mainland’s single-season assists record holder, had 21 assists and four kills and six aces, and Kate Litke had 30 digs, 10 points; Morgan Mundell, nine kills, five aces and 15 digs; Jessika Haberle, four kills, and 14 digs.
“In the last week and a half, we’ve beaten University, Pine Ridge and Mainland,” Craig-Craggy said. “We’re finishing up the season as strong as we’ve ever been, and that’s going to propel us in the districts.”
The district playoffs for both teams will begin Monday, Oct. 20, in New Smyrna Beach.