Playing their third tough volleyball match in four days, Coral Shores High's Lady Canes pulled out a four-game Thursday contest against rival Marathon High.
The Canes (6-2) pulled out a pair of hard-fought 25-23 wins in the first two games before the Dolphins (6-4) battled back for a 27-25 game win. The Canes then finished it decisively with a 25-15 victory in the best-of-five match.
“My girls were tired” after facing District 16-5A leaders Westminster Christian, a state power, and Key West High in road losses Monday and Wednesday, said Cane head coach Kathy Ets-Hokin.
“I felt bad about the way the schedule worked out [due to Hurricane Irma] but we had to get the district games in,” Ets-Hokin said.
“I told them they needed to pick it up” against Marathon, she said. “That's the reason we do all the conditioning.”
Defensive specialist Tatiana Ayala anchored the floor game for the Canes, pulling out 19 digs and delivering two aces. “Tatiana was all over the place,” Ets-Hokin said.
Coral Shores' Sierra Jenkins and Ainsley Gregis each delivered nine kill shots at the net. Elise Jordan turned in a solid match with five blocks, four digs and a pair of serving aces.
Keeley Flanigan, Carly Lindback, Lily Costa and Riley Dobson all made key contributions, the coach noted.
Both the Florida Keys teams missed more than three weeks of matches due to Hurricane Irma, and are scrambling to squeeze in district games before postseason playoffs begin Oct. 17.
“Our focus has to be on the district games,” Marathon coach Kevin Freeman said.
Coral Shores plays at home against Dade Christian at 5:30 p.m. Monday, following a 4 p.m. JV start. The Canes travel to Florida Christian on Tuesday, the hold Senior Night against Pinecrest Prep at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.
Kevin Wadlow: 305-440-3206