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Wednesday, May 23, 2018
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Prep volleyball: Durant edges Bloomingdale for 25-0 mark

PLANT CITY — The streak will continue.

After a nearly two-hour battle with rival Bloomingdale High on Wednesday night, Durant's volleyball team pulled out a two-point win in a sudden-death fifth set to claim the non-district match, 3-2, and finish the regular season 25-0.

With the single-elimination district tournament set to begin next week, the Cougars — should they win a state title — continue to have visions of a perfect season.

Senior outside hitter Lexi Thompson led the Cougars with a match-high 31 kills and was virtually unstoppable. Thompson, who is committed to Ole Miss, closed the match with a spike to win the final set, 15-13.

“It means the world to me because it's my senior year and I know I'm doing it for my team and that's all I care about because I want them to do good just as much as I want to,” Thompson said.

The final set included three lead changes and seven ties. Bloomingdale won the first and third sets, 25-20 and 25-15, to take a 2-1 lead, but Durant rallied in the fourth (25-12) to force sudden death.

Junior Karissa Rhoades led the Bulls (16-10) with 17 kills.

Bloomingdale is the only team to defeat the Cougars this season. The Bulls beat Durant, 2-1, in a preseason tournament at Sickles.

“It was very tough because I know they wanted to beat us more than anything,” Thompson said.

The Cougars are the top seed in Class 7A-District 7 and are chasing their first district title since 2007, when the team finished as a state runner-up.

“It's unbelievable and it's a dream come true and I don't think it will ever happen again to be honest,” Durant coach Brittany Wade said. “This is just an amazing year.”

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