Gathered just behind the net, the Shoemaker Lady Grey Wolves stood in a unified circle, chanted, shouted and cheered.
They had just won again.
The Lady Grey Wolves (14-10) continued their early season success, defeating Florence 25-16, 25-19, 25-17.
And now Shoemaker coach Merdith Shaw-Moore knows her team can do one other thing too — finish.
“Previously I have said my team has grown a lot. We are learning to finish games, which we have not been able to do in the past,” Shaw-Moore said. “We have some great team leadership and a good group of girls and they are just coming together at the right time.”
Shoemaker grabbed a lead in each game and held onto it.
In Game 1, the Grey Wolves were up 16-12 when Jezarai Navalta had back-to-back aces sandwiched in between a pair of kills by Aria Price, who led Shoemaker with 14 kills.
“I think my team played well tonight. We can do way better, but we are coming up and, well, Wolves on the rise,” Price said. “I just think I want my team to win and when I go up I am thinking what I can do for the team (to get the point). So, whatever I can do for my team that is what I try to do.”
She then picked up another kill to get the score to 22-14 and Gabriela Sierra pushed the ball over the net for the winning point. The Lady Grey Wolves again, jumped out to an early lead in Game 2, 14-8, as Shadavia Blakemore and Madi Woodward, who had six blocks, both picked up kills.
Florence hung with Shoemaker, cutting the lead to 19-15 after a kill by Shelbi Long.
“We just need consistency,” Shaw-Moore said. “Sometimes we do something good and then do something bad. We need to learn how to finish without giving away so many points.”
Two aces, though, by Angel Gavin put the match away.
In Game 3, it was Florence off to the hot start with a pair of aces by Shali Simpson to go up 5-3.
Shoemaker, though, went on a 8-0 run and took a 15-8 lead thanks to six errors — either at the net or in the passing game — by Florence. After that, the teams traded points until the match was over.
Anissa Pitts lead Shoemaker with 15 digs and Navalta added eight.
Simpson had 17 assists, Clarissa Carranco had nine digs and Rebecca Horton had nine kills to lead the Lady Buffaloes.
Contact Nick Talbot at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7569