SEBRING — The Sebring volleyball team used its superior talent and athleticism to roll past Moore Haven by scores of 25-11, 25-16 and 25-22 in Tuesday night’s opening round of the Preseason Classic.
The Blue Streaks opened up big leads in each set and all of the girls gained valuable experience in the preseason match with the Terriers.
“This was a great way to start the season,” said Sebring coach Venessa Sinness. “All of the girls got to play and we were able to try some different lineups and formations. “We were rusty on our serve receive and a few other things, but overall I’m pleased with what I saw.”
Sebring jumped on top of the Terriers in the first set by a score of 11-4 as Cadie O’Hern and Briah Thomas took turns unleashing spikes into holes in the Moore Haven defense.
Kylie Bowers and Kiersten McSheffrey did a solid job of setting up the Sebring hitters, and the talented duo contributed several ace serves as the Blue Streaks opened up a 22-9 advantage.
Hannah Gotsch helped to finish off the first set with a pair of powerful kill shots to seal the 25-11 victory.
“Kylie and Kiersten did a good job of setting the ball in the right place to give our hitters the best chance to score points,” Sinness said. “We have excellent hitters, but if we don’t put the ball in the right place at the right time, it doesn’t matter.”
Moore Haven played better in the second set and took advantage of some sloppy play by the Blue Streaks to take a surprising 11-9 lead.
Sebring roared back behind the stellar serving of Caylin Webb, who ripped off five straight points, including three aces, and the outstanding net play of Gotsch, who zipped numerous kill shots past the helpless Terriers for a 21-13 lead.
A bad serve by Moore Haven put Sebring on set point, and Gotsch drilled a cross-court spike for the 25-16 victory.
Moore Haven refused to go quietly and battled the Blue Streaks to a tie at 7 all in the final set.
Sebring began to find the range with its spikes and Hannah Kaszubowski utilized a laser serve to extend the lead to 17-12.
The Terriers made another rally and pulled within a few points, but O’Hern tallied a point with a well-placed dink shot and a bad serve by the Terriers gave the third set and the match to the Blue Streaks.
“We wanted to see who the girls felt comfortable playing with and how our different offensive sets worked in a match,” Sinness said. “We have a lot of potential and we just need to keep working hard to improve.”
Sebring will play Lake Placid in the championship match at 7:30 tonight. Lake Placid knocked off Avon Park in four sets to reach the finals.
“We always enjoy playing Lake Placid,” said Sinness. “They are a good team and we have a friendly rivalry with them.”
Sebring opens its regular season schedule with an away match against Okeechobee on Aug. 28, and the Class 5A Blue Streaks play their first home match on Sept. 2 against Moore Haven.