The Pirates were led by hitters Jaelyn Lawrence and Brianna Whitfield, who slammed down 11 and eight kills, respectively.
It had been a long, back-and-forth game. But, when Kate Thoubborn’s knuckled serve caromed out of bounds off the hands of a Bulldogs’ volleyball player, it was finally over.
On the night of Tuesday, Sept. 5, the Matanzas volleyball team defeated Flagler Palm Coast in a five-set thriller in a packed gym at FPC.
The Pirates fell behind in almost every set but were able to come from behind to scratch out the win.
“I’m excited,” Matanzas coach Julie Menendez said. “I’m excited that they didn’t give up. I’m excited that they pushed their way through it. This is always an emotional match, so it’s not just the skill, it’s also getting through the emotions that go along with it. Just the fact that they didn’t quit on it is awesome to me.”
In the front court, the Pirates were led by a combination of Jaelyn Lawrence and Brianna Whitfield. Lawrence slammed down a team-high 11 kills and three services aces, and Whitfield totaled eight kills. Thoubborn led Matanzas with six service aces.
“We had a few errors and mistakes here and there,” Whitfield said. “But we recovered well. We brought ourselves back even when we thought the game was over.”
The Bulldogs, aided by the hard hitting of Angelica Collazo, who had a game-high 16 kills, took the first set 25-21. FPC led by as much as six points before dropping the second set 25-23. The Bulldogs held the lead in all except the final, decisive set, which the Pirates took 14-7.
“We had a hard time executing under pressure,” FPC coach Ashlee Dietrich said. “We got into a tip game with them, and when you play somebody else’s game, you end up losing.”