Pirates senior Alyssia Paiz slammed down a team-high 11 kills against FPC.
With every point scored during the fourth set of Matanzas and Flagler Palm Coast's girls volleyball match on Thursday, Aug. 30, the crowd became more passionate. The stands in the gym at Matanzas High School were split in two: one side for the Pirates, the other for the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs, down 2-1 in the match, led by as much as 7 points in the fourth frame. But the Pirates, who were swept by Pedro Menendez in their previous match, fought back to take their first lead 12-11.
The set was eventually tied at 16. Then Pirates senior hitter Alyssia Paiz landed her heaviest hit of the night.
Paiz lept into the air and drilled a perfect set over the outstretched arms of two Bulldogs blockers. FPC's backcourt didn't have time to react to the kill shot. She followed it up with another hard spike on the next rally.
The Pirates ultimately won the set 25-22, and Paiz slammed down a team-high 11 kills in a 3-1 win for the Pirates.
"I've been a lot better on hitting than in previous seasons," Paiz said after the game. "Now, I've got a lot more power behind it. I don't know where all this power came from, but it's here."
Matanzas won the first set 26-24 and the second set 25-20. The Bulldogs staved off a comeback bid by the Pirates to win the third set 25-22.
All 12 players on the roster saw playing time for the Pirates, according to head coach Julie Menendez.
"I just love the fight that we always have and that they never give up on the ball," she said. "Tonight was total team work."
Thursday night marked the Pirates' fourth-straight win over the Bulldogs.
"We get more hyped every single time we play them," Paiz said. "Nothing beats beating them."