FLORENCE — For the Florence Lady Buffs, there was no place like home.
After losing a pair of District 22-2A road matches last week, Florence returned to its home gym in front of the purple and white clad fan base ready for a hot start.
Even though the Lady Buffs got out of the gate well, finishing proved to be more difficult.
Despite nine assists and four aces from senior setter Shali Simpson, Jarrell swept Florence (5-12, 2-4 District 22-2A) 25-16, 25-11, 25-15 on Tuesday.
“We came out thinking that we were going to win and got too cocky,” senior libero Meridyn Futrell said. “We didn’t play as well as we thought we were.”
The loss is Florence’s third consecutive in district play.
Junior middle blocker Shelbie Long had a team-high nine kills for Florence while Futrell added eight digs.
“We did not do well at all, and I’m pretty sure all of us are disappointed in how we played,” senior middle blocker and team co-captain Rebecca Horton said.
The Lady Buffs returned to their home gym for the first time in 11 days and took a hold of the momentum early in the opening game of the match.
Florence jumped out to an 8-3 lead in Game 1, but Jarrell stormed back, scoring 20 of the next 28 points, and forced Florence coach Kelly Stephens to call a time out.
“We thought we had that game and got too excited and lost it,” Futrell said.
Although both squads committed their fair share of errors in the second game, Jarrell proved to be more opportunistic.
Jarrell jumped out to an early 8-6 lead with five of those points coming off Florence serving and attacking errors.
Futrell scored two of the final three Florence points in the middle frame, but Jarrell went on a 17-3 run to close out the game and put Florence in a 2-0 hole for the match.
“I think that once they started getting those runs, we gave up a little bit,” Horton said.
Futrell, Long and Simpson scored early points to help Florence come out to a 6-3 lead in Game 3, but the Lady Buffs allowed three early service errors and took a 16-6 lead.
“They happened at crucial times,” Stephens said. “When you can’t get more than one serve in a row before you give it to the other team, it’s kind of hard to make a run.”
Florence looks to break the three-game skid on Friday when it visits Lexington.