SEBRING – The Sebring Blue Streaks swept past the Santa Fe Catholic Hawks in three sets in Tuesday night’s match.
It was senior night for the Blue Streaks and the senior ladies hit the floor wearing night gowns and wigs. After all the shenanigans, Sebring downed the Hawks by scores of 25-17, 25-20 and 25-16. The win improved the Blue Streaks to an impressive 16-3 on the season.
“I was pleasantly surprised how we were able to stay focused on a very emotional night,” said Sebring Coach Vennessa Sinness. “I have to commend us as we only missed one serve tonight. Our serving is what is going to win and lose games for us. We have prided ourselves on that and we have done a great job. Emily Bible was spot on tonight. She did a great job serve receiving. I was kind of scared that senior night would affect us because it is a very emotional time. We stayed well composed and the girls did a great job.”
In the first set, Sebring started strong with Allie Cannady sparking a three-point run for a 7-2 lead. Julie Crow ignited an incredible run to give the Blue streaks a commanding 19-9 lead.
The Hawks rallied to cut the deficit to 22-17, but Sebring scored the final three points needed for the 25-17 victory.
The Hawks and Blue Streaks battled back and forth in the second set with Sebring holding a slim 9-8 advantage. Senior Johneisha Rowe went on a four-point run to extend the lead to 14-9. Rowe added 4 kills and Courtney Webb led Sebring in kills with 7.
Rowe led a run with strong net play to clinch the 25-20 second-set victory over the Hawks.
“I think tonight’s match was very good,” said Crow. “I think our serve receive and serving was very good. Our hitters knew how to keep the ball in and put the ball where the other team wasn’t at. This is senior night and it was a good surprise from our underclassmen. It makes me sad to know that I am graduating this year. I plan to go to college and I do have a couple of colleges looking at me. This season I think we have a great team and I love my team. We are slowly improving and getting ready for districts next week and I am excited to play.”
Santa Fe took a 5-3 lead in the third set, but Jade Sinness launched the Blue Streaks into the lead with an outstanding eight-point run at 12-5. Sinness also contributed 4 aces and 6 kills for the Blue Streaks.
Sebring’s Ashley Bible went on a three-point run extending the Blue Streak’s lead to 16-7. Santa Fe continued to trail Sebring until Jade Sinness served the final three-point run need to secure the victory for Sebring by a final score of 25-16.
Sebring opens play on Tuesday in the Class 6A-District 10 tournament. The Blue Streaks went 8-0 in district play during the season to earn the No. 1 seed and home-court for its district matches.
“For districts I don’t want us to underestimate any team,” said Coach Sinness. “We’ve beaten those teams in the past, but that doesn’t matter now and I don’t want us to look past districts and stay focused.” My job is to keep them focused. We have to do the little things right otherwise we will be in trouble.”
Sebring is headed to Orlando for the Bishop Moore Swing for the Cure on Saturday for a final tuneup before next week’s district tournament.
“There are 16 teams in our division at Swing for a Cure,” added Sinness. “In our pool we will play Palm Harbor, Melbourne Central Catholic and Lake Mary. Tough teams which is awesome. We will be seeded after our pool play and put in divisions with the other schools that finish the same as us.”
The Blue Streaks play a district semifinal Tuesday night at home against the winner of Monday’s match between Booker (Sarasota) and Lake Wales.
A win would move Sebring into the district finals on Thursday night at home against the winner of the semifinal match between DeSoto and Hardee.