By Bryan Levine, SunCoast Sports
PUNTA GORDA — It’s not easy to sweep a team, but it certainly makes things easier when you never trail for a single point throughout the match.
Charlotte High School defeated DeSoto County in straight sets Monday night, 25-14, 25-15, 25-18.
The Tarpons grabbed the first point of every set, and never looked back. The latest a set was tied came in the middle game when the Bulldogs tied things up at 5-5. Charlotte then scored the next five points to take a 10-5 lead.
“We did a good job tonight,” Tarpon coach Michelle Dill said. “We didn’t let them get too many runs, so we would come back with a good pass and kill.
Charlotte (19-3) started with an 8-2 lead in the first and third sets, as serves from Ashley Landry and Abby Hayse, respectively, were key in those sets. Landry totaled 10 service points on the night with three aces, and Hayse had 11 points with two aces.
It was a fairly even attack from all Tarpons. For the most part, no one specific player had astonishing numbers, yet everyone contributed. Jessica Moore’s 23 assists were the standout statistic, while Kaylee Brannon also had 12 digs.
Other than that, Emily Vaughn had a team-high eight kills. Michelle Bunch followed behind with seven. Shelby Beisner and Skylar Gribben each had six kills, and Kaitlyn Chavarria and Alani Qualls both totaled four.
Hayse and Caitlin Giacolone each had seven digs.
As indicated by the score, the final set was the night’s most competitive. After Charlotte’s 8-2 start, DeSoto went on a 6-1 run to bring the score to 9-8.
The Tarpons went on a 7-0 run after that to take a commanding 16-8 lead. That wasn’t enough just yet to close out the Bulldogs (7-15), as they managed to trim Charlotte’s lead at 19-16 before ending things.
“When we face Charlotte, because they’re probably the best team in the area, it’s always good for us to face such a good team before headed into districts,” DeSoto County coach Laura White said. “Battling with them kind of helps us out for the district and quarter-regional play.”
For the Bulldogs, Shea Lipe had a match-high 13 digs. Malyssa Jeter followed behind with 10 digs and 5 kills. Zakaria Burroughs led the match with four blocks, and added five digs and six kills.