VOLLEYBALL: Charlotte sweeps DeSoto County

By Jordan Kroeger, SunCoast Sports

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Charlotte’s Alani Qualls spikes the ball as DeSoto County’s Tanyah Smith and Malyssa Jeter go up for a block during Thursday night’s game (Sun Photo by Michele Haskell).

ARCADIA — The Charlotte Tarpons were frustrated over Wednesday night’s loss to Port Charlotte.

So, they took their frustrations out on the DeSoto County Bulldogs Thursday night.

Led by Emily Vaughn’s 10 kills, Charlotte cruised to a three-set sweep (25-18, 25-23, 25-8) over in the middle school’s gym. Shelby Beisner also had seven kills for the Tarpons, who never trailed in the first and third sets.

Charlotte coach Michelle Dill played every player in the match and went with her entire second unit for most of the second set after the starters dominated the first. Vaughn came firing right from the start, delivering five of her kills and an ace in the opening frame.

“I wanted to put our starting lineup in the first set just to get them back together after last night,” Dill said. “Then I said if we win, it’s going to be our other lineup just to give them a rest. I put a couple of people in who don’t get in in other games. The last game we put some of our starters back in but also with some new ones just to try something different and see how it would flow.”

It flowed exceptionally well in the third set as Charlotte (4-1) jumped to a 7-0 lead thanks to two kills by Beisner. The Tarpons later ended the frame on a blazing 10-0 streak that included two kills and a block by Alani Qualls.

The only downer during the final set was an ankle injury to sophomore outside hitter Kerstyn Shaw. She came down awkwardly and had to be carried off in tears after impressing Dill with three kills.

“She’s tough. She’ll be OK,” Dill said.

Adriana Barrera and Shea Lipe led DeSoto County (2-3) with four kills apiece as Charlotte didn’t allow many offensive points. The only drama all night came in the second set as the Bulldogs roared out to s 15-9 advantage before the Tarpons turned it around, scoring 10 of the final 13 points in the set and five of the final six.

Middle hitter Kaitlyn Chavarria was crucial down the stretch of the second with her blocks and two kills. She finished with four kills.

On the second night of a back-to-back coming off of a loss, Dill was pleased with the overall effort from her team.

“I just liked how we were focused and we weren’t hanging our heads or anything,” Dill said. “We knew it was time to run around and come back and get a W.”

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