By Jordan Kroeger, SunCoast Sports
ENGLEWOOD — The Pirates had suffered heartbreak twice already this season with losses in five sets.
Tuesday night was the trifecta.
Lemon Bay rallied from a 2-1 set deficit to defeat Port Charlotte 25-12, 20-25, 24-26, 25-14, 16-14 at home in a District 10-7A match.
The Manta Rays had a chance to end the match up 14-13 in the final set, but Samantha DiBene delivered a kill to even the score back up. Errors would prove to be the Pirates’ downfall, though, as the next two points were shot out of bounds and into the net to give Lemon Bay (3-4) its second district win in as many matches this season.
“We shouldn’t have been there,” Lemon Bay coach Pat Auer said. “We killed them the first game and the second game was just back and forth, back and forth and the fourth game we had a lead too and let them back in it. The last game was back and forth too but when they hit we’re unstoppable…but it was fun.”
Caroline Hill, who had five blocks, and Hannah Krzysiak led a balanced offensive attack with seven kills apiece while Haylee Lane had six and Breanna Nelson delivered five.
But it was a sloppy match as Port Charlotte (1-5) committed 21 hitting errors while Lemon Bay had 16. Those 21 errors by the Pirates allowed the Manta Rays to rally back.
“The fifth set we just started behind and we just can’t do that,” Port Charlotte coach Christine Burkhart said. “We were up 2-1. The first game, alright, I’ll give them that, our girls needed time to warm up but then you’re hot for two straight games and sat back on the lead and got killed. We can’t do that but that’s part of being young.”
Kiersten Tisdale led Port Charlotte with 14 kills and three aces and DiBene had nine kills