By Jordan Kroeger, SunCoast Sports
NORTH PORT — Whenever the Bobcats got rolling they couldn’t be stopped.
Not in the first set.
Not in the second.
And not with the third hanging in the balance.
North Port swept Port Charlotte at home Wednesday night 25-16, 25-16, 27-25. The Bobcats cruised through the first two sets before rallying to win the third, despite the Pirates having three chances to force a fourth.
“Our goal was to play up, not down to a level,” North Port coach Adrienne Moreno said. “It was good. We focused on bettering the ball tonight and we did it.”
The two squads went back and forth throughout the third set before the Pirates went up 24-22. But thanks to a kill from Summer Fisher, followed by a shot out of bounds from the Pirates, the Bobcats hung around.
Port Charlotte (0-2) went back up 25-24 on a kill by Samantha DiBene, but once again, North Port (2-0) responded by scoring the final three points of the match to grab its second victory of the season in as many games.
The young Pirates, on the other hand, know they’ve got some work to do after suffering their second loss in a row.
“We have a young team so that part is very exciting and you could see at the end how they started to battle so they have that fighting spirit but they were very, very flat today coming in,” Port Charlotte coach Christine Burkhart said.
The Pirates jumped out to a 7-3 lead in the first set before the Bobcats scored 13 of the next 14 points to take control of the opening game. Alexis Francavilla was the catalyst during the run, posting three kills and four blocks.
Francavilla finished the night with a team-high eight kills.
North Port then put together another run in the second set, scoring 10 of 12 points to break an 8-8 tie and give the Bobcats a 10-point cushion that was more than enough.
“We played as a team, played as one like we know we can,” Francavilla said. “2-0 is a good start to the season. Hopefully we keep it going.”