Volleyball

Hornets survive do-or-die with Hernando

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Weeki Wachee setter Sarah Asbury had a 44 assist and a 12-point turn at serve to start the third game for Tuesday's 6A-7 semifinal versus Hernando. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

CRYSTAL RIVER – Hernando and Weeki Wachee have met in a district championship match the past three seasons. But each time, the losing team could rest easy knowing it had a trip to regionals in its back pocket.
There was no such safety net on Tuesday night, when the county rivals squared off in the postseason for the fourth year in a row, but this time in the Class 6A, District 7 semifinals at Crystal River.

The Lady Leopards had captured both regular-season meetings, yet the Lady Hornets won when it mattered most, collecting a 25-18, 25-27, 25-10, 25-20 victory.

Sports notebook: Hernando downs county foes Weeki Wachee

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Leoprard David hale Bronson attempts to break through the Horents defense. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

Hernando captured a meeting of 5A-7 and county foes, downing Weeki Wachee (0-7 overall, 0-4 5A-7), 24-0. Quarterback Scott Bierwiler completed 7-of-9 passes for 106 yards, and rushed 10 times for 63 yards and two touchdowns for the Leopards (3-3 overall, 2-2 5A-7). David Hale Bronson ran for 91 yards and a score.

Sports notebook: Matthew forces scheduling changes

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Nature Coast's T.J. Owens dives over top a Weeki Wachee defender on Saturday. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

While Hurricane Matthew barreled its way up the east coast of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, Hernando County escaped any real impact from the deadly storm outside of a blustery Friday.
Still, just as with Hurricane Hermine last month, the threat of a tropical system led to the Hernando County School District calling off school and all after-school activities on Thursday and Friday.
That of course wreaked havoc on Week 7 of the prep football schedule. One non-district matchup, Hernando at Ocala-Forest, was completely canceled.

Sports notebook: Central wins second straight

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Nature Coast's Nickinson Sineus attempts to catch a pass with a defender on his back in Friday night's game against Lake Wales. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

It was a startling revelation to Central head coach Chris Sands, but nonetheless true. The last time the Bears won back-to-back football games came in 2008.
That all changed on Friday night, when Central won for the second week in a row, trouncing host Lecanto, 35-21.
More importantly for the Bears (3-2 overall), it pushed their record to 2-1 in Class 5A, District 7 after a brutal opening district loss at Nature Coast two weeks ago.

Sports notebook: Central’s Smith sets new county mark

Photography by Alice Mary Herden and Cheryl Clanton

Bears Devonta Smith breaks county record during the game against the Hornest Friday night at Central High School. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

So far this season, the same narrative has followed Central’s De’Vonta Smith. He has tried to escape the shadow of his cousin DeShawn Smith, who led the nation in rushing and scoring during a historic campaign with Nature Coast in 2015.
On Friday night, the senior running back managed to put together a statistical performance even his cousin never quite matched, setting a new county single-game rushing record in the Bears’ 63-28 thumping of Weeki Wachee.

Sports notebook: Eagles start strong in district

Photography by Alice Mary Herden and Cheryl Clanton

Springstead quarterback Jordan Wright carries the ball against Mitchell on Friday night. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

With district play beginning this week in prep football, Springstead shook off a loss to county-rival Nature Coast the previous week for an impressive 33-7 victory over Mitchell on Friday night.
Randy Morgan and Demetrius Barry both ran for a pair of touchdowns as the host Eagles (2-1) bounced the defending champions in Class 6A, District 6.
Quarterback Jordan Wright also had a scoring run for Springstead, who built a 26-0 lead before the Mustangs (2-1) finally got on the scoreboard late in the fourth quarter.

Weeki Wachee grinds out win over Springstead

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Weeki Wachee senior Sarah Asbury sets up her teammates during Tuesday's match at Springstead. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

SPRING HILL – Weeki Wachee’s volleyball team hardly got off to the type of start it would have liked when the season began last week.
In their opener on Aug. 23, the Lady Hornets blew a 2-0 lead and fell at Crystal River, 22-25, 20-25, 25-19, 25-22, 15-10. The next day, they got swept at home by county-rival Hernando, 25-22, 25-15, 25-21.
Though they managed a 25-8, 25-6, 25-18 win over Citrus last Thursday, Tuesday’s matchup at Springstead brought more struggle in the early going.

Central hires Clark to coach volleyball

Clark

Over the past seven seasons, Central volleyball has endured a revolving door at head coach. There have been eight separate coaching changes, many of them coming shortly before the season and once during.
The ninth occurred last week, as athletic director Al Sorrentino announced the hiring of Erin Clark to take over the program, and he hopes he won’t have to find a replacement any time soon.

Sports Notebook: Running Backs Carry Sharks, Bears

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Friday night in Hernando County, it was good to be a running back named Smith. A debate could probably go on for days over just who had the superior performance: Nature Coast’s DeShawn Smith or Central’s De’Vonta Smith.

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