Gainesville sweeps Eastside for second time

Gainesville's Kaelyn Nash (15) draws back for one of her 15 kills in the Hurricanes' 3-0 win over host Eastside. (Elizabeth Hamilton/Correspondent)

Published: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 at 11:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 at 11:05 p.m.

When Erin Maynard took over Eastside's volleyball program, she knew her first season would include a pair of matches against her father, Eddie Maynard, coach at Gainesville.

Round 2 took place Tuesday at the Rams gym, and the results were much like the first time they met nearly a month ago at the Purple Palace.

Sophomore Kaelyn Nash had 15 kills and five blocks, junior Jennifer Rosado added nine kills and four blocks, and senior Alex Fischer had 23 assists and five digs as the Hurricanes swept Eastside 25-15, 25-16, 25-19.

With this, the final week of the regular season, both teams are looking for improvement in their teams heading into district tournaments, which open next week. Despite not winning a set against her dad in her first season, Erin Maynard said she sees improvement in her girls' play.

“Obviously I know how my dad coaches and I know how his team plays,” she said. “They are always very disciplined and are always hard to beat because they play good defense and have strong hitters. We knew it was going to be a tough battle. Unfortunately we didn't execute the game plan as well as we should have.

“The girls have gotten so much better over the course of the season. That's all I can really ask for. As long as they are improving, that's what matters. We have played some pretty tough teams this year. They have pretty much given all they got. They continue to improve, which is good.”

Junior Heather Page had seven kills for Eastside (9-13) while sophomore setter Mekyala Williams had 17 assists and 10 digs, and sophomore Maggie Carnes had seven service points and two aces.

The Rams scored the first four points of the night, but after GHS tied it at 5-5 on the second of four straight kills from Nash, the 'Canes (13-9) seized control and never trailed the rest of the way, winning comfortably in all three sets.

“She probably will be a better coach than I ever was, but she's got a little more rebuilding right now than we do,” said GHS coach Eddie Maynard of his daughter. “She is a product of Cindy Boulware, so she is going to be just fine.”

Eddie Maynard is hoping to have senior Kelsey Watts at close to 100 percent by districts. Watts, who has been battling a shoulder injury for much of the season, played all five matches at the recent Bolles Invitational and was named to the all-tournament team, along with Nash.

“She is up and down and thought she was going to try to play a few more rotations tonight, but her shoulder was still bothering her,” Eddie Maynard said. “Those five matches were probably a little more than what she has played in that span. She is still trying to recover a little bit from the weekend.”

Both GHS and Eastside have two matches this week before district tournaments, which are both out of town. The Rams will host Ocala Trinity Catholic tonight at 7 for their senior night, then play at Ocala Forest on Thursday while the 'Canes will host Cornerstone on Thursday (also at 7 p.m.) for their senior night and play at Ponte Vedra Nease on Friday.

Eastside opens at the District 5-5A tournament in Belleview beginning Tuesday while Gainesville also opens in District 2-6A, taking on Orange Park in Middleburg. Both Belleview and Middleburg are the favorites in their district.

“We lost a very close three-set match with Middleburg at the Bolles tournament,” Eddie Maynard said. “We lost the third set 15-13. We are hoping to repeat what we did in 2011.”

That year, Eddie Maynard's first at GHS, the Hurricanes went on a postseason run and reached the state tournament.

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