Just when it appeared Charlotte and DeSoto County were settling in for a long Monday night of volleyball, Kyra Jensen started serving.
And serving. And serving.
The Tarpons junior started the night’s second set with 11 consecutive points, including four aces among her first seven serves. It was the critical stretch of a 25-20, 25-10, 25-17 sweep of the Bulldogs.
“She keeps them consistent, so we like to start off with her,” Charlotte coach Michelle Dill said.
Jensen picked up another ace later in the second set and added 3 kills and 7 digs to her match totals.
DeSoto County (3-3) entered the night fresh off a 2-2 showing at Charlotte’s Gene Gorman Invitational and early on, it looked as if the Bulldogs and Tarpons (4-4) were going to be at it for a while.
Charlotte, which also went 2-2 in the tournament, traded points with DeSoto County as both teams had trouble getting their hits inbounds. That changed when Briana Bynoh, Kristen Lowers and Ashleigh Miller began drilling holes in DeSoto’s defense. The Tarpons went on a 5-1 run to turn a narrow 18-17 lead into a 23-18 advantage.
In the second set, the good serving didn’t stop with Jensen. Shortly after she propelled Charlotte to an 11-0 lead, Miller followed with four more points to push the margin to 16-2. Miller capped the set by fooling the Bulldogs at the net with a soft tap that fell between four players.
The final set was much like the first, with the two teams trading points until another Charlotte run late helped the Tarpons pull away. Everyone got involved while Lowers was serving to flip a 14-13 deficit into a 21-14 Charlotte lead.
Hitting once again factored as DeSoto’s shots went long or wide while the Tarpons found their range.
“The first set we struggled with our hitting. We were hitting a little long,” Dill said. “The second game we did it a little better. We were connecting on our sets and our hits. The third set, too.”
Miller finished with 10 kills, 2 aces and 2 blocks. Lowers added 5 kills, 9 assists, 3 blocks and 6 digs.
With the possibility of a shortened season due to COVID-19, Charlotte moved up its Senior Night and honored four seniors: Miller, Bella Desjardins, Brooke Davidson and Molly Swiontek.
DeSoto County returns to action Tuesday at home against Lake Placid. Charlotte will travel to Riverview on Wednesday.
North Port beats Palmetto
The Bobcats volleyball team beat Palmetto in four sets (25-6, 25-18, 19-25, 25-12) on Monday night at North Port High School.
Andreya Stellwag led North Port with a 12-kill and 16-dig night and Caitlyn St. Germain served five aces to help the Bobcats hold off the Tigers.
North Port (3-5) will host Sarasota Christian tonight at 7.
Sarasota tops Lemon Bay
The Lemon Bay volleyball team lost in four sets at Sarasota on Monday night (25-21, 23-25, 19-25, 21-25).