LECANTO — It’s one thing to be good and it’s another to have faith.
Good against a tallied opponent and faithful towards some new things their coaches had implemented in practice in preparation for this match.
The Lecanto girls volleyball team had both Tuesday night, as they hosted Springstead High School of Spring Hill.
As Panthers head coach Wanda Grey said afterward, “these girls never gave up.”
The result was a 25-22, 21-25, 25-21, 25-16 victory for the host Panthers over the Eagles in a Gulf Coast 8 Conference showdown.
Although there were some outstanding individual performances that carried the Panthers to victory, most notably, Emersen Willard, Mackenzi Grey, Mallori Grey and Kylee Desmond, this was indeed a team effort.
Even though the Panthers won the first set by a mere three points, neither team looked to have settled in. There were plenty of mental errors and out-of-bound hits were shared by both squads. Lecanto started with a 1-0 lead which was quickly erased by Springstead as they grabbed the next point and held leads of one to five points, until Lecanto tied the match at 15-all. Lecanto never lead by less two points the rest of the way until winning by a 3-point margin.
The second set was the lone victory for the Eagles in another close set.
The third set started out with six straight points for the Eagles, with the Panthers coming back to tie this one for the first of five times at 8-8. This game belonged to Emersen Willard — with a variety of shots — starting with a service ace then adding some crafty drop shots at the net.
The fourth set was a service highlight reel for Mackenzi Grey.
A couple of back-to-back service aces were sprinkled in with a few drop shots, as the Panthers ran away to a 25-16 victory.
Springstead ran out of steam in the fourth set, and the girls of Lecanto had energy galore.
Coach Grey summarized the evening this way, “The girls trusted their coaches and grabbed ahold of what we practiced and made it work. This is a team of selfless individuals who work hard.”
The Panthers improved to 4-2 with the victory, while the Eagles fell to 4-6.