By Clay Fowler
Killeen Daily Herald
The Shoemaker Lady Grey Wolves' style of volleyball favors endurance.
The problem is, Game 5 is a sprint.
After outlasting the Temple Tem-Cats on Tuesday night in the second and third games 29-27 and 27-25, Shoemaker dropped Game 4 before falling behind early in the deciding fifth game. With only 15 points required to win Game 5, SHS's comeback bid simply ran out of time, the Lady Grey Wolves losing 15-7.
"If only the fifth game went to 25 points too," SHS head coach Marilyn Mapes said. "We have such a hard time with the fifth game. It's so important to get that lead in the short game and Temple got it and ran with it."
Temple (19-11, 7-3 District 13-5A) leapt to a 9-3 advantage in the fifth game before Shoemaker (7-23, 1-9) closed the gap to 11-7, only to lose the final four points of the game.
Senior middle blocker Rashea Bell's 34 kills carried the Lady Grey Wolves opposite a balanced Temple effort lead by Kalie Hunt. Of Hunt's 11 kills, seven came in the final two games.
With the Tem-Cats trailing two games to one, Hunt summoned some clutch hitting to end any SHS hopes in Game 4, finishing the game with three consecutive kills.
Hunt carried the momentum into the deciding game, providing kills on two of the final three points of the match.
"When (Hunt) plays well, everyone seems to play well," Temple coach Susie Hughlett said. "But she didn't start playing good volleyball until late in the match. This wasn't her usual level of play."
Hilary Watson's 28 assists combined with six kills each from Trenette Smith and Karyn Johnson aided the Tem-Cats' effort.
But the Lady Grey Wolves had Temple on the ropes riding marathon wins in Games 2 and 3. After a 25-25 tie in the second game, the two squads traded points until, following a Temple hitting error, SHS setters Terry Sawyer (25 assists) and Amanda Exford (13 assists) hooked up for a kill to end the game, Sawyer perfectly placing Exford's set down the left sideline.
Bell's 31st kill of the match gave SHS a 26-25 lead in Game 3. Then Christina Locklear, who contributed 17 digs, six kills, a block, an assist and a service ace, capped a third game in which the teams were never separated by more than three points with a well-placed kill.
"Neither team really played well tonight," Hughlett said. "But we're happy to get out of here with a win."
Contact Clay Fowler at email@example.com