LYNN HAVEN — Wakulla defeated Mosley in four sets despite dropping the first one, 14-25, 25-20, 25-16, and 25-21 to win the District 2-5A Championship at Mosley on Thursday afternoon.
“We were very nervous the first set,” Wakulla coach Elizabeth Andrews said. “Just making a lot of errors because we were nervous and just not confident about what we were doing and we were hesitating.”
Wakulla (16-9) actually beat Mosley (15-11) both times they met in the regular season 3-1 and 3-2. Andrews said the Dolphins jumping out to such huge lead in the first set, something they weren’t able to do in the regular season, probably contributed to the way her team struggled mentally.
The Dolphins took such a commanding lead early on in large part because sophomore Liberty McLean seemed to always be in just the right position to reject the ball at the net.
Mosley coach Michelle Mask said she was proud of the play she saw out of McLean and the rest of the Dolphins in the loss.
“You want them to leave everything on the court,” Mask said. “And I think they did that so as a coach you can’t be disappointed in the girls because I thought, as a coach, they gave everything they had.”
The War Eagles quickly took control of the second set and jumped out to 14-8 lead. The Dolphins were able to rally and tie things up 19-19 thanks to a couple of instinctive plays from Mosley junior Jalei Jomalon.
“She’s extremely fast, she really is,” Mask said. “I mean she’s probably one of the fastest girls on our team.”
Jomalon used that speed to record a team-high 25 assists, eight kills, 11 digs, 13 service points and three aces.
Ragan Kinard paced the Dolphins with 17 kills while senior Anna Corbin finished with a team-high 26 digs.
Mosley seemed to settle back down in set three, but the War Eagles used a 5-0 run to break away late in the set. They were able to do this thanks to some timely plays from Wakulla sophomore Macie Varnes who spent a lot of time throwing herself at the ground to deny the Dolphins multiple scoring opportunities.
“She’s an exceptional, instinctual player,” Andrews said. “It’s raw talent. She’s young, she’s a sophomore, but she just has this incredible ability to read where the ball is going and she’s fast. She’s a soccer player.”
Mosley led the fourth set by as many as three points twice, but a pair of late blocks helped Wakulla outscore the Dolphins 4-1 at the end to claim the overall victory.
Wakulla’s season will continue on Wednesday. Mask both hopes and expects the Dolphins will join them in the next stage, but non-district champions are not expected to find out their final postseason status until Friday.
“I think based on what we’ve done this year we’ll make it out of (district) playoffs and we’ll be playing next Wednesday, but we’ll just have to travel,” Mask said. “We were hoping, if we won we got to host.”