By Bryan Levine, SunCoast Sports
PORT CHARLOTTE — Riverview High School was too much for Port Charlotte to handle Monday night, as the Rams defeated the Pirates in straight sets.
The No. 14 team in the state and No. 1 Class 9A squad, according to MaxPreps, used runs of double digits throughout the match to take a 25-13, 25-15, 25-11 win.
“Riverview is such a great team, and they’re a strong hitting team,” Port Charlotte coach Christine Burkhart said. “Defensively, we are pretty good, so we were able to keep the rallies going, but we didn’t have any hitters. We needed somebody playing up front, and we didn’t have that.”
Despite the lopsided final score, the Pirates (4-15) didn’t just lay over and hand the match to the Rams (13-2).
Port Charlotte came out on fire to begin the final set, jumping out to a 3-0 lead on the serve of Maddie Odenweller, and eventually built up a 7-4 margin before Riverview came roaring back.
It was 15-10 at one point in the third set, before the Rams closed the match on a 10-1 run.
It was a similar result in the opening set, as three consecutive points on Zoe Burkhart’s serve brought a 12-12 tie for the Pirates, but then Riverview went on an 8-0 run to build up a 20-12 lead.
The Rams ended the first set on a 13-1 run to grab the match’s first set.
Odenweller added six digs to her three service points, and Burkhart had a team-high 12 digs to go along with a pair of aces. Sam DiBene contributed all over the scorecard with two aces, seven digs and a team-high four kills.
Alex Hilton led the way for Riverview with 12 kills and 13 digs.