Prep volleyball | Tony Cothron's Palmetto Tigers defeats wife Nancy's Southeast Seminoles

Tony Cothron's Tigers outlast wife Nancy's Seminoles

jlembo@bradenton.comAugust 30, 2012 

PALMETTO -- Tony Cothron was headed to the couch Wednesday night.

He has Palmetto's volleyball team to blame.

The Tigers defeated Southeast 17-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-15, giving Cothron his first win as Palmetto's head coach.

And it came at the expense of Tony's wife, Nancy, currently in her second season coaching the Seminoles after a 16-year stint at Saint Stephen's.

"He's on the couch with the dog," Nancy said. "(The dog) will have company, at least."

Longtime club coaches, Tony and Nancy never coached against each other in a meaningful match until Wednesday night. It was made possible when Palmetto hired Tony over the summer to take over for Dana Whitaker, who stepped down after three seasons.

"I was just trying to focus on what we need to do to continue to get better and better," Tony Cothron said. "I wouldn't have treated it any differently no matter who was over there. ... Leading up to this match, it could've been Manatee and it wouldn't have been any different. It's just cool that we got to play against my wife."

Tony Cothron recently graduated from USF and is looking to land a teaching position. That, coupled with knowing of many of Palmetto's players through his experience with club

volleyball, drew Tony to the Tigers.

"I think I can do something with this program," he said. "I think I can move this program along. The JV team, from the two matches that I've seen, they are some pretty good girls who are going to be coming in next year."

On Wednesday, he watched Palmetto (1-1) rally from a 1-0 hole thanks in part to Danielle Deterding and Rachel Johnson, who had six kills apiece. Sierra Sutton added 13 assists.

The Seminoles (0-1) are coming off back-to-back district championships and are a mix of seasoned seniors and inexperienced sophomores.

Consequently, Nancy Cothron viewed Wednesday's match against her husband as a positive.

"He's got the experience; he's going to know how to attack our defense and our offense. And they did, they hit us on the weak spots," she said. "That's what I told my girls -- 'It's good to see these weak spots early so we know where to find them and make the adjustments where we need them.'

"I'd rather have that happen now. And what better person to do it? He'll show me all my weaknesses, and we'll go home and he'll probably help me figure out where to fix them because we're not in the same district."

Alexandra Pendleton had 15 kills and Emma Bartges had 12 kills and two aces for Southeast, which got 17 assists from Tori Scovill.

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