After falling 25-7, Shoemaker found itself behind Belton 8-2 in the second set.
On Parent Night, the Lady Grey Wolves howled back with kills from Bianca Delgado, Anessa Pitts, Chelyiss Pierce and Angel Gavin to knot the set at 10.
“We fight,” said Shoemaker coach Merdith Shaw-Moore. “No matter how ugly it is, no matter how bad it looks.”
The Lady Grey Wolves wrestled the surging Lady Tigers into six ties and took a 17-16 advantage in the second set, but Belton regained its momentum and cruised to 25-7, 25-21, 25-12 victory Tuesday.
“The first game, third game, we did a good job,” said Tigers coach Stacy Meyers. “The second game, we just relaxed. And as soon as you give another team momentum, they’re going to run with it.”
Belton (21-10, 6-2 District 8-5A) carried momentum for most of the match, as it trailed for only one point.
Brieanne Brown led the Lady Tigers with eight kills, four aces and 11 digs.
The senior said she has tirelessly practiced and learned to play smart, but gave credit to her teammates.
“We have really good setters on our team who put up really good balls for me to hit,” Brown said. “I just tried to bring the mentality of, ‘Do what I need to do to get a point.’”
Belton grooved on runs of 4-0, 5-0, 6-0 and 9-0 in the first set. A 7-0 stretch in the final set put the Lady Tigers up 20-10, and out of Shoemaker’s reach.
“We’re trying to get more consistent,” Meyers said. “Our whole team is made up of role players. And when they’re all doing their job, we just play well together. ... When they do their job well, that’s when we’re really consistent and successful.”
For the Lady Tigers, senior Monica Gonzalez added six kills and eight blocks, junior McKinzee Robinson had four kills and five blocks and senior Kinsey Williams notched 10 digs.
For the Lady Grey Wolves (18-15, 2-6), Aria Price had seven kills and two blocks, Pierce added six kills and three blocks, Gabriela Sierra notched 12 assists and Shadavia Blakemore dug 22 attacks.
“I always tell the girls, ‘No matter how dark the tunnel looks, you can always find light at the end of the tunnel,’” Shaw-Moore said. “So even when games are real out of our reach, I continue to tell the girls to keep playing and keep playing, one point at a time and just keep fighting.”
“You can never quit. Not just with volleyball, but with any sport and anything that you do, you can’t quit.
“You never know what the end’s going to be if you continue to keep fighting.”