VOLLEYBALL: Charlotte grabs first set, but drops match against Fort Myers

By Chuck Ballaro, Sun Correspondent

FORT MYERS — Once the Fort Myers High School volleyball team got over its case of senioritis, it was clear sailing in its rematch from last year’s regional final.

The Green Wave overcame losing the first game and got big contributions from senior captains Sydney Green and Erin Gear to down Charlotte 20-25, 25-23, 25-19-25-16 in a non-conference matchup on their senior night.

Green had 20 digs, while Gear had 45 assists and 13 digs to lead the Green Wave to its 15 win in the last 16 matches.

“It’s a great team victory. A lot of girls contributed and the girls stepped up when they needed to,” Fort Myers coach Stephanie Martin said.

Charlotte (17-3) looked in the beginning like they would get a measure of revenge after losing the regional final last year as Skylar Gribben served a nice run for the Tarpons, who were able to hold off the Green Wave to win the first game 25-20.

“It was senior night and there were a lot of nerves. I think they were pushing too hard and the adrenaline was too high. We needed to calm down and play,” Martin said.

Fort Myers never trailed after that, although Charlotte was able to forge six ties and cut the lead to 24-23 in game two and cut a nine-point deficit down to three in the third game.

But Fort Myers (15-3) had all the breaks go their way, using an 8-1 run in the third game to break that game open, and then pulling away in the final game.

Sadie Davis led Fort Myers with 21 kills, while Alexis Piatkowski had six blocks.

Charlotte had several players have huge nights. They were led by Shelby Beisner with 18 digs and 14 kills. Emily Vaughn had 15 kills and seven blocks, Jessica Moore had 39 assists and 22 digs, and Kaylee Brannon had 17 digs.

Unfortunately, they made too many mistakes against a team that has nearly its entire team play year-round on club teams, leaving little room for error.

“We always jump out to a great start and then relax. I told my girls they have to compete, especially with these more competitive teams,” Charlotte coach Michelle Dill said. “We have to step up and play 100 percent the whole time. We just made minor errors that we need to tighten up.”

Dill said whole her team played well, the focus will shift to getting the top seed in District 7A-10, with its game against Ida Baker at home Tuesday likely to decide the Tarpons’ fate.

“For us to compete with a team like this is great. Now, we have to focus on the district first before we look to what’s ahead next,” Dill said

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