The Gulfport Admirals committed 25 errors over the first two games Tuesday, losing the opener 25-18, and were in serious danger of losing the second game, down 21-16 with the St. Martin Yellow Jackets holding serve.
However, behind nine kills by Maison Larmore and four kills and five aces from Dywana Parker, Gulfport managed to turn things around late, coming back to win the second game 26-24 before closing out the match 25-19, 25-16 to beat St. Martin 3-1 in high school volleyball.
“We weren’t finishing plays and we were making simple mistakes,” Larmore said.
Jayden Bishop, who added seven kills and an ace in the second game, said coming back was simple.
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“We started playing the way we knew how to play,” she said.
Larmore noted winning the second game was important for Gulfport (13-5).
“It gave us confidence,” she said. “We knew how well we could play when we play our game.”
Coach David Irwin said his team was on a “journey” and the match was a reflection of that journey.
“When we are not executing our game plan and finishing plays, we are making errors and hurting ourselves,” he said, noting his team could give up four of five points in a row off their errors. “We are trying to be consistent and limit the other team’s runs. When we play our game, we may make a mistake and give up one or two points, but we turn things around scoring three or four points in a row.”
Irwin said the second game was important.
“In the second game, they did what they were supposed to do all the time,” he said. “They learned something from that second game they used in the third and fourth games.”
Parker staked Gulfport to an early 7-2 lead in the opener behind a pair of aces and a kill. However, Sierra Lamey, with a pair of kills, and Katelynn Carcich with a kill and a block, soon had St. Martin in the lead 16-10, going on to win the game.
In the second game, the Yellow Jackets (4-5), behind a pair of kills from Shelby Gruich, led early only to have Gulfport come back behind Larmore, who scored five kills. Larmore, Parker and Bishop each had a kill late as the Admirals surged ahead to get the win and split the opening two games.
Behind a balanced attack in the third game, the Admirals took advantage of 11 St. Martin errors to take a 2-1 advantage in the match before closing the game out with a strong fourth game. Down 11-9 in the fourth game, Parker served three aces and Larmore had four kills to give the Admirals a 19-11 lead.