Despite effort, Raiders drop district opener to Niceville

At one point last Tuesday night it appeared Navarre’s volleyball team was going to stun district powerhouse Niceville.

The Raiders surged in front 11-8 in the opening game thanks in large part to solid serving and a great defensive effort but couldn’t hold onto the lead.

That proved to be the case throughout the evening for the Raiders, who hung around most of the night against the Eagles but couldn’t quite finish them off in a 25-18, 25-13, 25-15 loss in their District 1-8A opener at home.

“Niceville is a very tough team. They have always been a powerhouse,” second-year Raiders head coach Michelle Lee said. “They are always the team to beat.”

But Lee believes her team is capable of beating the best and the performance in game one offered up glimpses of the Raiders’ potential going forward.

“We came out in that first game with a do-or-die attitude, and we realize we have the ability to get points and win games,” Lee said. “We were winning that one but we just have trouble closing the deal. We have to learn to step up and work even harder. We’re getting there. We have it in us to do it.”

Strong serving allowed Navarre to hang around. It also played solid defense at the net at times and found itself down just 19-18 late in the first game.

The Raiders only trailed 10-8 in the second game before the Eagles pulled away but Niceville owned the finale, sprinting out to a 9-1 advantage en route to finishing off the match.

Read more  in the Sept. 15 edition of Navarre Press or subscribe online here.

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