SPRING HILL — Tampa Prep knew Bishop McLaughlin’s game plan and there was no way around it.
“When you have one of the best 16-year-olds in the ... country, then teams are going to go right to her,” Hurricanes coach Doug Chinchar said. “She just turned 16, she’s a baby, but teams are going to double team where she goes and the rest of our team needs to support her.”
Chinchar is referring to junior outside hitter Alyssa Mathis, the Hurricanes’ 6-foot-1, San Diego State commit, but the Terrapins did just enough to stop her and take a pivotal Class 3A-District 7 match 3-1 (23-25, 25-21, 25-17, 25-22) on Tuesday.
“It wasn’t our A game and we didn’t play up to our potential, but I thought for the most part we shut down their No. 12 (Mathis),” Terrapins coach Andrew Wilson said. “We contained her, but they’re a good ball-control team.”
Mathis was “contained” to a game-high 24 kills, while senior Aileen Hnatiuk, added 21 kills for the Hurricanes (11-3, 3-2).
The Terps (11-9, 4-0) were led by Corey Perkins (19 kills) and Ariana Mosley (18 kills). Claire Blumenthal had a game-high 23 digs, and Kamryn Beach and Morgan Puls led the way with 8.5 and 3 blocks, respectively, most of those on Mathis.
With the win, Tampa Prep essentially locked up the No. 1 seed for the district tournament it hosts starting Oct. 21, while Bishop most likely will be the No. 3 seed.
“I still wouldn’t want to be a team that plays us late in the season,” Chinchar said. “Down the stretch, I know we can be hard to beat when we get rolling.”