Tearra Roberson’s arm was a little tired.
But so was the entire Florence team.
The Shoemaker senior railed off seven aces during a 15-0 run in Game 3 as her Lady Grey Wolves defeated the Lady Buffs 25-8,23-25, 25-11, 25-21.
“My arm was getting a bit tired, but my coaches keep telling me to throw the ball higher because if I let it come down a little bit it ends up in the net,” Roberson said. “That (streak) was a first. It felt pretty good.”
Florence also lost to Killeen 25-16, 25-16, 25-21 in a tri-match at Shoemaker on Tuesday that was played after the Lady Buffs’ former coach double-booked the team.
After seven games, Florence was worn down.
“I think toward the end (we got tired),” said Florence coach Brett Gola, who took over the team right before the season began from Joanna Hensley. “I don’t think we did a good job of taking care of ourselves during the day to be ready to play tonight.
“It ends up being a long day with no food. I think our conditioning is up to par and eventually it is going to show.”
Shoemaker ran away with Game 1 after a pair of kills by Aria Price, who led the Lady Wolves with 11 kills, capped a 6-1 run that put Shoemaker up 15-6. A pair of drop shots by Takeyra Powell then started a 8-0 run that ended the game.
Shoemaker didn’t keep its momentum in Game 2.
Chelsey Lansford-Brenner’s ace put the Lady Buffs up 12-8 and kills by Rebecca Horton and Shali Simpson kept Florence alive after Shoemaker had tied the game back up at
19-19. Simpson then ended the game with a kill to give Florence the two-point win.
“Never get relaxed,” said Shoemaker coach Merdith Shaw-Moore. “Never take any team lightly. 1A through 5A, you can’t take anyone lightly. With volleyball it can go anyway on any night ... you never know what will happen or who will show up.”
Roberson didn’t relax in Game 3. When she got her first ace, the score was 7-5. By the time she got her seventh, it was 19-5.
“It is more of a mind thing. If I throw the ball higher, I know my serve will be harder,” Roberson said. “I spot-served just a little bit, too. It was good.”
Simpson hit a drop shot to end the run, but Roberson, who finished with seven kills, eight blocks and the seven aces, ended the game on a kill.
Florence and the Lady Wolves went back-and-forth in Game 4. But, Price had two kills that set up Shoemaker up at match point at 24-21.
Florence kept it close with Killeen as well.
But, again, the serve-receive game just wasn’t working for the Lady Buffs. Madison Sapp had 10 aces alone and the Lady Roos combined for 20 aces against Florence.
“Whenever we serve well, we play really well,” said Killeen coach Shelly Harris. “When we step up and miss serves it throws off our whole game it seems like.”
Sapp had three aces in Game 1 as Killeen pulled ahead 22-11 before a series of errors by the Lady Roos put Florence back into the match. She also had three aces during a 11-0 run in Game 2 that saw Killeen jump out to a 12-3 lead before again a few errors let the Lady Buffs come back, pulling within four points, 14-10.
Game 3 was even closer.
Florence went up 8-7 after a kill by Nikki Morgan and went up 18-16 after an ace by Hannah Hurley. A kill by Alicia Brown, who led Killeen with six kills, put the Lady Roos up 22-20 and two straight Florence errors ended the match.
“Staying focused for that long is hard for kids in general,” Gola said. “So, for us to stay with it and be in the games late, we are very happy with that.”