Destin High Sharks win set against Rocky Bayou, but not match

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

They may not have won the war, but they won a battle. 

The Destin High School Shark volleyball team won their first set, but lost the match 3-1 to visiting Rocky Bayou Knights earlier this week at Destin United Methodist Family Life Center, the Sharks home court. 

“We got one,” said Destin High Coach Kennady Brinley. “They are getting better every game and it actually shows. The cohesion on the court was a lot better.” 

The Destin Sharks jump for joy after they won their first set against the Rocky Bayou Knights.

The Sharks played a different rotation Tuesday night with one of their setters out. 

“We had never practiced or played it before … and for them to step up in that way, it was amazing,” Brinley said. 

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The Sharks started strong scoring 12 straight with Angelina Cooley at the service line. A couple went in for aces, others were out on the return and Elaine Wolford hammered one home to give the Sharks a 12-0 start. 

Rocky broke the serve and scored four. The scoring went back and forth with each team picking up two and three points at the time. 

Destin's Angelina Cooley served up 11 straight in the first set against the Rocky Bayou Knights.

With the Sharks up 21-16, Rocky Bayou finished with a big run with Helen Payton at the line for eight consecutive points. Rocky won 25-21. 

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In the second set, the Sharks tied the game three times, but lost the set 25-23. In the set, Destin’s Wolford hammered home a couple shots, Reagan Palmer placed a couple of shots, Ella Harris had a block at the net, as did Anna Carroll. Cooley bumped one in for a point. 

In set three, the Sharks found their footing and won 25-16. 

Destin's Reagan Palmer, left and Laura La Guardia go up for the block against the Rocky Bayou Knights.

The Sharks made a couple of good runs to pull away from Rocky. Hannah Baxley served up four straight and Adriana Kerns served up five consecutive points. Palmer, playing at the net, placed four good shots, and blocked a couple. Laura La Guardia hammed one in as did Wolford. Destin led 14-7.  

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Rocky picked up a point, then Destin scored three more on blocks and a spike for a 17-8 advantage. The scoring went back and forth before Destin made one last run with Wolford at the service line to go up 24-14. Rocky broke the serve and scored one before Palmer shut it down at the net for a 25-16 win. 

Destin's Ella Harris digs out a shot against the Rocky Bayou Knights.

In the fourth set, the Sharks kept the game close and even took the lead three times. Their last lead was 13-12. At that point, Rocky went on a scoring spree, reeling off five in a row with Layla Medlock at the line. Rocky led 18-13. Destin broke the served and picked up a couple of points to close the gap at 18-16. Rocky again rallied with Liz Pruitt scoring four in a row. In the end, Rocky won 25-21. 

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Despite the loss, Brinley was thrilled with the team performance. 

“The girls are really picking up on what we are saying ... they are picking up on the ball and honing in on what we are saying and really implementing that on the floor,” she said. 

Destin's Laura La Guardia knocks one over on the Rocky Bayou Knights.

Players on the net, “are getting good touches,” Brinley said. 

“At first we weren’t seeing the ball and we weren't lined up to get a good block,” she said, but that has changed. 

“We won a battle and a lot of minibattles,” she said.