There were no excuses. There was no tinge of regret.
Instead, following Baker’s 25-17, 29-27, 25-21 final four loss to defending 1A state champion Lafayette, Gators coach Tomikko Parks was adamant that her team had put forth its best effort against a juggernaut.
“We were in every set,” said Parks, whose team was swept by the Hornets in last year’s championship. “The girls played hard, they played strong and they executed the game plan. We just couldn’t get that one kill or one serve to put us over the top.”
That was especially true in the second set, which featured several chances for the Gators to climb back into the match.
That included leads of 24-23, 25-24, 26-25 and 27-26, all set points that were squandered as the Hornets, who are set to defend their title today against Liberty County, eked out a 29-27 win.
“We had our chances,” Parks said. “0-2 is difficult to come back from but we’ve done it in the past. We just had a tough time getting the ball to hit the floor.”
Meanwhile, Lafayette had no such troubles.
“(Lafayette) just did a good job of getting its best hitters the ball and executing,” she said.
But the Gators didn’t go down without a fight. They led 21-19 in the final set, but the Hornets ended the match on a 6-0 run.
It was the 42nd straight win for the Hornets, who improved to 24-0 and have still only dropped one set on the year.