No lead was safe. Especially not at game point.
Not match point, though.
Killeen rallied from a five-point deficit in Game 1, a six-point deficit in Game 3 and Johlicia Williams and Alicia Brown combined to score the final four points of Game 4 to give the Lady Roos their first district win as a 5A school since Oct. 2001, 27-25, 26-28, 27-25, 25-17 over Shoemaker on Tuesday night.
“It’s about time,” Williams said. “We were there with Ellison. We were there with (Harker) Heights and we were there with Belton, so it’s about time that we got this. We hope this continues because that’s the only way we’re going to go to the playoffs.”
Killeen (18-20, 1-3 8-5A) led by as much as eight in Game 2 and 24-21 and 26-25 late, but couldn’t close out the Lady Grey Wolves. With the come-from-behind win in Game 2, Shoemaker (11-11, 0-4) pulled away in Game 3 for a 23-18 lead, but lost three game points and Williams had three kills and an assist down the stretch to help the Lady Roos overcome the difference and force the Lady Grey Wolves into must-win mode in Game 4.
“I tell the girls all the time that we have to play to win, not play not to lose,” said Killeen coach Shelly Harris. “I think they finally clicked and decided we’re going to have to attack the ball instead of all that tipping mess that we did for a little while.”
Williams led Killeen with 14 kills; Esha Atkins had eight assists and 25 assists and Chalon Anderson and Kiana Ware each tallied 13 digs. Tearra Roberson led Shoemaker with 13 kills and five blocks; Aria Price had five kills, five digs and two blocks, Naiya Porell had six digs and Anessa Pitts had seven assists.
Shoemaker had eight game points through the first three games, but only won one. Killeen had seven and won three.
“It’s just learning how to pull games out, having heart,” Shoemaker coach Merdith Shaw-Moore said. “Usually when you get to games that are 26, 27, 28, it’s all about heart and determination. Unfortunately, they just had a little more than we did tonight.”
The Lady Grey Wolves jumped out to an early 7-2 lead in Game 1, taking advantage mostly of five hitting errors by Killeen, but Madison Sapp served four straight points, including two aces, for the Lady Roos after a Williams kill. Killeen started to pull away and took a 20-14 lead on an Atkins kill and three aces combined from Kiana Ware and Alicia Brown.
Shoemaker rallied around Roberson to claw back. The senior had a pair of kills and a block to tie the game at 22-22 and an ace to give the Lady Grey Wolves a 23-22 lead. A block by price gave Shoemaker its first game point, 24-22, but a bad serve by Roberson spoiled the first opportunity. Atkins had an ace to tie the game at 24-24, but immediately followed with her own bad serve into the net that gave Shoemaker its third game point.
Akiera Speer’s serve went into the net, tying the game at 25-25 and Williams and Brown posted back-to-back kills to close out the back-and-forth affair.
“It’s about dedication and heart, that’s it,” Roberson said. “You’ve got want it, seriously just want it. It’s about who wants it more.”
Killeen led 19-11 in Game 2, but the Lady Roos’ own mistakes allowed Shoemaker back into the game. Killeen made nine hitting errors in Shoemaker’s run. Trailing 24-23, Roberson wrapped a kill and a block around TaKeyra Powell’s ace to the tie game at 26-26. A Price kill gave Shoemaker a one-point lead and a final Killeen error evened the match going into Game 3.
“Thank goodness we finally pushed over the edge,” Harris said. “I know we can compete in this district, but we sure have not been showing it. I’m glad that we were able to finally that out with a win. They had me worried there for a little while.”
Contact Kevin Posival at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7562