With a 2-3 record coming out of the the Tampa Bay Invitational, both wins over teams ranked higher than themselves, the lady Warriors garnered valuable experience.
Now 12-7, the teams ranking has risen after the losing tournament. A testament to the stiff competition.
“I thought (the team) played really well, they got a lot of experience with long rallies, they’re not used to the ball coming back as often as it did. It just made them better,” said head coach Laura Stegenga.
The schedule turned out like this, the team played and lost to Berkeley Prep (*34 in the state) 25-20, 25-15 on Friday. Later on Friday, the lady Warriors beat Clearwater Central Catholic (*33 in the state) 25-18, 25-23.
This win in particular stood out to Stegenga, “We played (Clearwater Central Catholic) in preseason and it looked like we had even more control than we had the first time.”
As the Friday night cap the team played Lake Highland Prep (*2 in the state), getting swept two sets to none. Saturday the warriors knocked off Chiles (*26 in the state) 25-14, 25-19, 25-14 to improve to 2-2 in the tournament. Finishing Saturday off the team got routed by Venice (*4 in the state) 25-15, 25-15, 25-9.
Coming into the weekend the lady Warriors were fresh off of a loss to Wharton and it had the coach wishing for tighter matches to raise the level of her team. According to Stegenga, the Tampa Bay Invitational is exactly what the doctor ordered.
Zealand Shannon / Sports Editor