SEBRING - There was no panic in the Sebring volleyball team when Lake Placid jumped out to an 11-0 lead en route to a 25-16 win in the first set of Thursday night's finals of the Preseason Classic.
Sebring bounced back to take the next three sets by scores of 25-23, 25-21, 25-23 to win the match 3-1.
"I am going to say it is the new black jersey jitters," said Sebring Volleyball Coach Venessa Sinness. "After the first 11 points it was all good."
Lake Placid Volleyball Coach Charlotte Bauder really did not have the words to explain what happened, but also was not unhappy with the way her team played.
"We came together, we made some mistakes but we will learn from them," said Bauder. "That's why we play in preseason, we are here again next Thursday and we will learn from some of the mistakes that we made."
Though falling behind 11-0, Sebring actually closed the difference to five points on three occasions at 12-17, 13-18 and 15-20 before Lake Placid closed the game out going on a 5-1 run for a 25-16 win.
"I knew that going in it wasn't about adjustments," said Sinness. "It was more about taking a deep breath, stepping back and saying 'we can do this'. As we went through the set we made little adjustments to stay on top of them, but those first eleven points, there was nothing I could have done. There was no adjustment I could have made, it was just the girls settling in and they did that. That takes a very strong team to do that after going down 11-0 in the first set."
The second set saw the Blue Streaks take an early 8-4 lead. The Green Dragons fought back to tie the game at 9, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17 and 22 before taking their first lead at 23-22.
That lead was short-lived as Sebring scored the final three points behind the strong serving of Jordan Hinkle for a 25-23 win.
Sebring vaulted to a 5-1 lead in the third set and never trailed as the closest the Lake Placid could get to the Blue Streaks was 14-13 and 17-16. Sebring went on a 6-1 run to take a 23-17 lead and won the third set 25-21.
"The third set we dug ourselves in a whole," said Bauder. "We fought back but just could not get back that deficit we started with."
The fourth set was even tighter as neither team had more than a two-point lead as Lake Placid led 15-14. For the third game in a row, Sebring managed to put together a mini 6-1 run to take a 20-16 lead. The Blue Streaks led 24-21 as the Green Dragons scored twice to make the score 24-23.
Lake Placid served the ball into the net to end the match with Sebring winning by a score of 25-23.
"It was not anything talent-wise that they did wrong," said Bauder. "It was a little bit of miscommunication on some parts, too many missed serves is something we can work on, it was just good tough competitive play. There were points scored on big kills, there was not many errors on either side, it was just a good tough competitive match. I think if we consistently serve and keep playing defense, it will be neck and neck on Thursday."
Sinness thanked Coach LaVaar Scott for having the football players come out to support the volleyball team.
"It was great having them here," said Sinness. "As well as our baseball players that come every night to support us, I love it, that is the best part about Sebring High School."
Sinness mentioned that she still does not have her starting six at this moment, mainly due to one impact player that was not available due to a concussion.
"All the girls stepped up with her gone and did a good job defensively," said Sinness. "I think what held us together all night long was our serve-receive. They did not get aces on us, our setters did not have to run around like chickens with their heads cut off, the passes were consistently there along with a good side-out game."
Both teams are on the road on Tuesday with Sebring traveling to Frostproof and Lake Placid making a trip to Okeechobee. On Thursday, Lake Placid is at Sebring.