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Lely volleyball team fights valiantly but falls in three well-played games against Tarpon Springs Andrew Sodergren, andy.sodergren@naplesnews.com, 239-263-4731

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The Lely volleyball team fought valiantly in its Class 6A regional semifinal against Tarpon Springs, but fell a little short in a three-set sweep by the Spongers.

Lely lost 25-20, 25-18, 25-22, in three hotly contested sets. The Trojans sprinted out to a 5-1 lead in Set 2 and 5-0 lead in Set 3, but each time the Spongers had an answer. Lely led 21-15 in the third set and appeared destined to extend the match, but the Spongers closed on a 7-1 run to end Lely's season.

Tarpon Springs advances to the regional final against Sebring, a 3-2 winner over Tampa-Robinson on Tuesday night.

"The two teams were very, very passionate about winning. Both teams really wanted it," Lely senior Morgan Broxson said. "But for them, when we were getting down (on ourselves), they came and ate us right up. We had a few points where we were down and they took that to their advantage."

Broxson said she and her teammates have nothing to be ashamed of. Lely didn't make many unforced errors or silly mistakes -- Tarpon Springs just was slightly better than they were on this night.

"In the end, we played well; we know we did," Broxson said. "We're proud of ourselves. We did take the lead in the second and third set, but obviously they screwed their heads back on and caught back up to us."

Lely (16-8) finished another successful season, this time under first-year coach Alejandro Arconada. The Trojans won their eighth consecutive district championship, but are still looking for that elusive trip to the Final Four.

"It was a very nice game. Both teams were playing so hard," Arconada said. "We played our best game today, I thought. Our girls were playing with their hearts and their minds. Everyone wanted to win. They didn't go down without a fight. I'm proud of the way they played."

 

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