By Kevin Posival
Killeen Daily Herald
FLORENCE - The Shoemaker Lady Grey Wolves are back in the Florence volleyball tournament semifinals for the second-straight year.
Shoemaker coach Merdith Shaw-Moore, doesn't see it that way.
"We lost. I remember us losing," Shaw-Moore said about last year's tournament appearance.
Shoemaker lost its two pool games last year, but strung together its first two of the wins of the season only to lose to Jarrell in a tournament semifinal and the Harker Heights junior varsity in the third-place game.
Well, the Lady Grey Wolves (3-2) are back in the semifinals, but there were no rallies needed.
Shoemaker went 3-0, picking up its first three wins of the season, and faces Buckholts, another tournament surprise at 10 a.m. Saturday for a chance at the tournament championship.
"Confidence level, I challened a couple of our kids on the team to step up and do the little things and just have each other's back," Shaw-Moore said. "When one teammate is falling, you know you've got to step in and pick them up. I challenged them to have each other's back and by all means they did it, they did it today."
The Lady Grey Wolves won their tournament-opening match to Florence and won six of their of their seven games, including a three-game win over Buckholts (22-25, 25-18, 15-3) in their final pool game.
Shoemaker exacted revenge on Jarrell, sweeping the Lady Cougars in two games (25-17, 25-17).
Hailee Showers combined for 26 kills and six blocks; Tearra Roberson finished with 23 kills and six blocks; Kiara Rawls had 24 assists; and Javani Person had 20 digs in Shoemaker's three wins.
"It's always exciting when you get that first win," Shaw-Moore said. "When you're winning, you're always going to have some excitement, you're always going to have something to look forward to and just having that taste in your mouth, it's like a shark, you smell blood and you're just going out to get it."
Florence split its four games, falling to Round Rock Christian in a quarterfinal (25-16, 25-13) and will play its junior varsity in a fifth-place semifinal match Saturday at 2 p.m.
"I think we have a problem with intensity and complacency - one of them is our friend and one is our enemy," said Florence coach Joanna Hensley. "We see glimpses of it (intensity) here and there, but we definitely hit a lull today."
Florence's JV team, a last-minute addition to replace Thorndale, won its pool but lost its second-round game to McGregor (25-13, 25-12).
"It'll be interesting how that pans out," Hensley said of lining up her JV against the varsity. "There's a lot still unknown about our teams and our setup and so this is very beneficial because unlike in practice, we are able to simulate something that has more impact than a regular scrimmage."
Ellison drops 3 in Round Rock
ROUND ROCK - The Ellison Lady Eagles dropped all three of their matches at the Round Rock Westwood tournament, falling to Granbury 25-22, 25-19; Westwood 25-15, 25-18 and El Paso Coronado 25-17, 25-11.
Megan McKinnon led Ellison with 11 kills and Chelsea Grant added nine. Ocleta Young led with 17 assists.