By Mel Suiter, Hernando Sun
BROOKSVILLE, Fla. — It was a picture!
Hernando Christian Academy started the celebration of Spirit Week on the right foot, Monday night September 30, on the volleyball court against cross-town rival Central High School.
There were some strong rallies by both teams but at the end of the match, the Lions defeated the Bears 3-0, to improve their overall record to 9-7.
Central High School is struggling through a tough season, the Bears are 1-12 overall and are now being directed by their new coach, Kris Brooks.
The first match of the night, the Bears could not contain the Lions as they used both the combination of accurate serves and strong net play to take the first match 25-21, and the mood.
Lion’s team captain and senior outside hitter Cassidy Coffman served the ball in the first match with the right stuff, she was accurate for seven match points aided by great net coverage provided by her teammates.
“They are playing very well, they are learning their steps, they are working together and coming together,” Hernando Christian Academy volleyball coach Stacy Hethorn said, after the match. “We made some adjustments and we got a system, plus it is Spirit Week and it is a big game and the kids wanted to win the game.”
The second match of the night, the ears caught and pushed the Lions but sharp serve from sophomore setter Courtney Klukowski for the point number 27 ended the match for the Lions and with another win.
The third match brought more action out to the volleyball court but once again, Coffman led her team to victory with another round of dead-eye serving the ball into spaces not occupied by Bears.
“We talked about that the kill does not have to be powerful, it doesn’t have to be forced,” Hethorn said. “We are talking about playing smarter- look for open spots; they are adjusting.”
Brooks said after the game that he is learning all about his team and they are coping with learning his philosophy.
Against the Lions, Brooks said that he was proud of the way his team competed against the Lions, they just must hold their heads up and not get discouraged.
“They put forth a great effort. I am proud of how well they played, and they played set-by-set and game-by-game,” Brooks said. “It is a learning experience for me as well. The girls are learning our new system not as well as we hope but they are still learning.”
Hernando Christian Academy tended to lose their momentum in the middle of the matches against the Lions, they would lose the edge but Hethorn recognized the tendency. She simply, would call a timeout, gather her team around her and her team would come out of the huddle refocused.
When the Lions did concentrate, the play of the ball would be moved from the back line to a strong net game.
Hernando Christian Academy is playing inspired volleyball and the progression of the level of play is exciting to the fans in the bleachers cheering loudly; creating an atmosphere of appreciation for the strong effort on the court by the Lions.
The excitement of success during Homecoming Week makes this volleyball season for Hernando Christian Academy- picture perfect!