FLORENCE - By the middle of the day Shoemaker was already saddled with two losses and in last place in pool play.

They finished the day, though, with at least a shot at the Florence volleyball tournament championship.

After dropping both their pool play games Thursday at Florence, the Lady Wolves rallied to win their last two matches over Buckholts (25-13, 25-13) and Florence (25-18, 25-19) as bracket play began.

Now, they face Jarrell, who was the lone undefeated team (3-0) on Day 1 of the tournament and who defeated Shoemaker earlier in the day (25-20, 25-16), in the tournament semifinals Saturday at 10 a.m.

"You get one and it starts to get contagious," said Shoemaker coach Merdith Shaw-Moore. "We did not cover (early). They are learning where they are supposed to be and when.

"We have a second chance to fix the errors we had before (when we faced Jarrell)."

For a while, it looked like Shoemaker would not get that far. Thanks to two kills by Lauren Clark, Florence led Shoemaker 11-7 in Game 1. But, the Lady Wolves went on a 13-0 run sparked by a pair of kills by Ebonie Davis, who had a game-high eight kills, and two aces by Bria McLain.

Kasey Button stopped the bleeding for the Lady Buffs with a drop shot and a spike down the line, but the deficit had grown too large and Hailee Showers smashed two more kills and finished off the Lady Buffs.

Davis and Showers started off Game 2 hot as well, each swatting two kills to put the Lady Wolves up 13-11 and Brianna Brown came up with the game-winner.

"My seniors stepped up an became leaders," Shaw-Moore said. "They have to make that a habit."

Florence's only win of the day came over the Buckholts Lady Badgers, who they will face again Saturday at 9 a.m. in the consolation game.

"We had a lot of strong points, but we were up and down a lot," said Florence coach Joanna Hensley. "When we can't find our consistency that is when we struggle ... if we can string together some of those strong points, I will feel real good Saturday."

In the other semifinal Saturday, the Harker Heights junior varsity plays Troy, which beat the Lady Knights in a tight match (26-24, 26-24) as pool play ended.

It did not matter, though. Heights' wins over Florence and Buckholts gave them the No. 1 seed in their pool and a chance at redemption.

The Lady Knights JV started the day 2-0 with a hard fought three-set win over Florence (24-26, 27-25, 20-18) and a blowout win over Buckholts (25-13, 25-16).

An ace by sophomore setter Haley Pluenneke and a kill by Sydney Briggs gave Florence a 17-16 lead in Game 3, but they could not close Heights out. Jordan Denney came up with a big spike to tie the match at 18. Two unforced errors then gave the Lady Knights the win.

"They are still learning to play with each other and we have to figure out who we want where," said Height JV coach Jamie Stephens. "It is good competition for them."

Florence Volleyball Tournament Scores

Harker Heights JV def. Florence, 24-26, 27-25, 20-18

Jarrell def. Shoemaker, 25-20, 25-16

Florence def. Buckholts, 25-7, 25-22

Troy def. Shoemaker, 25-22, 8-25, 15-9

Harker Heights JV def. Buckholts, 25-13, 25-16

Jarrell def. Florence, 25-5, 25-13

Troy def. Harker Heights JV, 26-24, 26-24

Shoemaker def. Buckholts, 25-13, 25-13

Shoemaker def. Florence, 25-18, 25-19

Contact Nick Talbot at ntalbot@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7569

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