By Nick Talbot
Killeen Daily Herald
Consistent serving made all the difference for Florence as it rallied to defeat Jarrell 15-25, 29-27, 15-25, 25-13, 15-12 and pick up its first District 27-2A win of the season Tuesday at Jarrell.
"We came out in the first game and had a really rough start and a lot what determined the momentum (in this game) was who got on a serving rally," said Florence coach Joanna Hensely. "We lost that rally in Game 1 and we had a lot of good serves from Rebecca Horton and Haley Pluenneke and Sam Miller as the game went along."
Lauren Clark led the Lady Buffs (11-11, 1-3) with 36 digs, 13 kills, 1½ blocks and an ace, and Lauren Michalka added 13 kills. Pluenneke led Florence with 22 assists.
"The one thing I told them to focus on was to play together as a unit and play selflessly," Hensley said. "We get so focused on how we are doing individually that we forget the overall goal ... It really was the difference tonight."
Florence led 11-6 in the final game, only to see the lead shrink to 13-11. Hensley called timeout and once again reminded her team to just be consistent on its serves.
Lauren Michalka set consecutive balls to Rebecca Horton and Leslie Fillip, who used off-speed hits to confound the Lady Cougars and pick up the win.
Gatesville def. Brownwood 25-15, 25-9, 25-16 - At Gatesville, Glynna Johnson had 20 kills and three blocks to lead the 3A No. 5 Hornets past the Lady Lions.
Skye Truss added seven kills and four blocks for Gatesville (25-3), and twins Megan and Paige Chambers each had five digs. The Hornets open District 19-3A play Friday against Waco La Vega.
A&M Consolidated def. Shoemaker 25-15, 25-17, 25-7 - At Shoemaker, little mistakes piled up and the Lady Grey Wolves suffered their fourth straight District 12-5A loss.
Shoemaker (11-12, 0-4), which fell below .500 for the first time this season since opening the year at 0-2, plays at Harker Heights on Friday.
Consolidated (22-10, 4-0) remains tied with Copperas Cove atop the district standings and hosts Temple on Friday before hosting the Lady Bulldawgs on Tuesday.
Lampasas def. Blanco, 20-25, 18-25, 25-23, 25-21, 15-7 - At Blanco, the Badgers first avoided being swept, then rallied all the way back on the road to beat Blanco in five games.
Hailey Morrison led the way with 21 kills and four blocks, while Mikala Hirst added 26 digs. Junior setter Jenna Jenkins tallied 21 assists and Whitney Cauthen had two aces in the win.
Lampasas opens District 25-3A play Friday at Liberty Hill.