The Weeki Wachee Hornets (2-13) were swept away 3-0 by the Citrus Hurricanes (2-7) on Tuesday night at the Hornets’ Nest. The teams were already familiar with each other as this was a rematch of Saturday’s tilt, in which the Hornets downed the Hurricanes 2-0 over the weekend. This allowed Citrus the opportunity to exact immediate revenge on the home team or for Weeki Wachee to win back-to-back games for the first time this season.
This was not meant to be, as the loss stifles the momentum Head Coach Kelly Werkmeister and company were hoping to build heading into the final stretch of the schedule. The Hornets’ coach was not particularly pleased with her squad’s showing on Tuesday evening, but she did offer a reason for the poor performance.
“They came out pretty much [lackadaisical],” Coach Werkmeister said. “They didn’t take it serious. It’s a young team that we do have this year. Serve receive is one of the biggest things that we need to tighten up on, which is one of the things that they have to do. Last year, losing seven seniors was a big thing, and this year, we only have one senior that is on this team at this time.”
The Hurricanes took the first set, which was closely contested, by a 25-20 margin. After jumping out to an early 6-1 lead, the visitors held off a comeback bid that saw Weeki Wachee draw even with Citrus three times and trail 21-20 late. Junior OH/MB Rainie Summers blasted a pair of identical spikes off the hands of would-be Weeki Wachee blockers in Citrus’ final four points to salt the initial period away.
The penultimate period proved to be the most crucial, as the Hornets’ start mirrored that of the visitors in set one. The Green and Black opened the frame with a 4-1 lead, Citrus tied up the match on three occasions, and Weeki Wachee led most of the round. Where the sets differ is in what happens next. With the score evened at 18 apiece, the Hornets took a timeout, hoping to collect themselves for the final stretch. Instead, the worst happened. Head Coach Jeff Wood’s squad scored the next seven points en route to a nine-point scoring streak and the victory. This was thanks in large part to Summers and some miscues by the home team. The Hornets appeared spent in the final frame. Weeki Wachee fell behind 8-1 early and never fully recovered. Citrus dominated the third set, 25-13 to bring the evening to a close.
“I think our serving was really hot,” Coach Wood said. “Rainie Summers had some outstanding serves tonight. Really put a lot of pressure on her. I would say all of our hitters. I can’t name one. We were firing from all different locations, and that just made for a fun and exciting game.”
With four full days of practice before their matchup on Tuesday, Coach Wood and company are looking to make the most of the extended break. Coming off a strong win with time to prepare, the Hurricanes are hoping to turn their season around on the road against the Crystal River Pirates. The Hornets will look to serve receive better and not get too comfortable with a lead in their future showdowns. Their next opportunity will come on Thursday night when they make the short cross-town trek to face the Nature Coast Tech Sharks.
“It’s just a very frustrating night of where they could do so much better,” The Hornets’ coach said. “They have all the talent in the world, but until they can believe in themselves and become a team, that’s what they need to do.”