By Chuck Ballaro, Sun Correspondent
PORT CHARLOTTE – The Port Charlotte High School volleyball team used shock and awe in its home opener, much to the delight of its raucous fans.
The Pirates scored 17 unanswered points in the first game against DeSoto County and never looked back as they blanked the Bulldogs 3-0 (25-7, 25-18, 25-14) in a non-district contest Thursday at the Pirate Cove.
“We have really good servers on this team. The passing was good, the setting was a little off, but we still got the win,” Port Charlotte coach Kevin Krause said. “Desoto picked it up in the other games. I knew they were better than that.”
Port Charlotte (2-0), which used its serve to decimate Riverdale in the season opener, picked up where it left off against DeSoto County, much to the delight of the home fans, which really lifted up the Pirates early.
Macenzie Krause took the serve and never relinquished it. She scored 13 points and might have had more had her dad not lifted her and the starters when it was 20-1.
For the match, Krause had 17 service points and eight aces to go with her 18 digs. Kiersten Tisdale had 12 service points and four aces.
The Bulldogs played much better in the second game, using steady play to get to within 19-17 late. However, Madeline Paul came up with some big serves (as she did in the final game) to help hold DeSoto at bay.
Kiersten Tisdale and Krause started the final game with short runs and Paul (nine points, three aces) again finished things off to ice the match for the Pirates.
DeSoto County coach Laura White said the wheels didn’t come off the wagon, they were never on to begin with.
“We never got started. They came out and overpowered us, couldn’t pass the ball and I’d be surprised if we had five kills in the whole match,” White said. “Port Charlotte has a great arsenal of weapons and we were on our heels the whole game.”
Kaelyn Griffiths, Laticia Nina and Tisdale had seven kills for Port Charlotte in a game where the home crowd gave Port Charlotte an early burst.
“We were really pumped after having the crowd with us, and we were feeding off it. We’re a family so when we get together and we’re excited we just go for it,” Nina said.
For the Pirates, there wasn’t much in the way of letdown from Tuesday night. However, they will soon see if this fast start is for real next week as they face North Port and always-tough Charlotte.
“We’ve been training for two months and I think going out against them will be fun. We’ve been working for it and we want to show how much we’ve worked for it,” Nina said.