It’s been a tough stretch of games for Navarre’s volleyball team.
The Raiders (2-5) lost their fourth-consecutive match Thursday night against county rival Gulf Breeze, falling 25-15, 25-6, 25-17 to the Dolphins in a 1-8A district showdown.
The Raiders had a difficult time scoring against Gulf Breeze and were put in tough positions defensively against a Gulf Breeze team that features a strong offensive attack and has lost just once in 10 games.
But while Navarre did walk away with another loss Thursday, second-year head coach Michelle Lee saw signs of promise.
“Gulf Breeze is the team you want to make sure you are prepared for and that you are all in for because they always have a great team,” Lee said. “I thought our girls played good and played much better tonight than earlier in the week. It was like night and day. “
Navarre actually led Gulf Breeze early, building a 5-4 lead, but the Dolphins surged ahead 13-7 and never looked back. The Raiders got as close as 13-10 after Caitlin Bethell tipped the ball over the net before Gulf Breeze pulled away for good.
The Dolphins dominated the second game, opening with a 14-4 lead, but the Raiders made things interesting in the third game, staying within four to six points most of the match. Carly Haytack’s hit cut the Gulf Breeze lead to 15-10 and a hitting error by the Dolphins made the score 15-11.
But in the end, the Dolphins were too good to let a lead slip away and sealed the deal on the match.
“We made some errors but those can be fixed,” Lee said. “We didn’t capitalize on some opportunities and some of our plays weren’t as clean, but those are all things that can be fixed. The effort was there.”
Navarre opened the week with a non-district match against Pensacola and fell in three games. The Raiders lost 25-15, 25-21, 25-12 to the Tigers.
Read more in the Sept. 22 edition of Navarre Press or subscribe online here.