Cougars Win AHN Tourney, Focus on Posting Solid Season

Couars Kelsey Morton reaches high for the ball during practice. Morton has proved to be one of the programs most improved players among a strong senior lineup.
Couars Kelsey Morton reaches high for the ball during practice. Morton has proved to be one of the programs most improved players among a strong senior lineup.

By Tamas Mondovics

The Cougars mid-week practice was intense ahead of this year’s Academy of the Holy Names Volleyball Invitational held on Friday and Saturday, September 6-7; but at the end it was worth it as the girls pushed hard to make the event count.

The team’s roster included Plant, Tampa Prep, East Lake, Robinson, Tampa Catholic and Seffner Christian, all 2012 post-season contenders.

On Friday, Durant battled Tampa Catholic earning a 2-0 win set for Saturday’s championship match against tourney host AHN.

With scores of 25-23, 23-25 and the Cougars third set victory 15-9, Durant became tourney champs, while Plant earned a third place after defeating Tampa Catholic, 25-17 and 25-14.

The day prior to the event, Cougars head coach, Brittany Wilson-Wade put things in perspective as he drew attention to what believes the tourney meant for the program.

“AHN will give us a true test of Durant Volleyball,” Wade said. Wilson-Wade led the girls to a 25-8 season in 2012.

Durant volleyball coach, Brittany Wilson-Wade, keeps a close eye on the team, just days before the girls won this years Academy of the Holy Names Volleyball Invitational Tourney.
Durant volleyball coach, Brittany Wilson-Wade, keeps a close eye on the team, just days before the girls won this years Academy of the Holy Names Volleyball Invitational Tourney.

Durant entered the tourney with a 2-0 district record after defeating Strawberry Crest (3-0) and Brandon (3-0). To earn the 7A District 7 title, the Cougars will also battle East Bay, Plant City and Tampa Bay Tech.

With five seniors included on its 16-member roster that includes Lexi Thompson, Victoria Fanning, Morgan Sistrunk, Bella Anzalone and one of the most improved players, Kelsey Morton, Durant is sporting one of its best line ups in recent years.

Pleased with the tourney result, Thompson reportedly said that the win means “Durant is back,” a sentiment that Wilson-Wade did not hesitate to share when she said, “We have greatly matured from last year and our goal, of course, is reaching state.”

But to get there takes commitment and hard work; something that coach Wilson-Wade is eager to instill in her players.

“I just want them to know what it means to win,” she said. “Discipline will take the program to success.”

For more information about Durant volleyball, please visit www.maxpreps.com.