The Lady Grey Wolves opened up the second half of District 12-6A with a sweep at home against Harker Heights on Tuesday.
After taking a loss at home last Friday against Temple, Shoemaker (4-5, 12-6A) took all three sets over the Lady Knights (2-7, 12-6A) by all the same score, 25-21.
“The thing about volleyball is you play everybody twice,” said Lady Grey Wolves head coach Meredith Shaw-Moore. “You learn from the first game, whether you win or lose.
“And then you make adjustments and try not to make the same mistakes.”
Although Shoemaker pulled ahead early in the first set, Heights didn’t let it pull too far ahead as Layla Yerry set the ball Haley Brown who finished the set with a kill that cut the Lady Grey Wolves’ lead in half, 8-4.
Shoemaker worked its way to a 10-point lead before the Lady Knights fought back with six unanswered points behind kills from Catherine Bakken and Sydney Seldon, forcing the Lady Grey Wolves to call timeout.
“Shoemaker is a great team,” said Heights’ head coach Alina Wilder. “And we went out there and gave it what we had.”
The Lady Grey Wolves got a kill from Tyra Williams to put the score at 24-21. To end the set, Heights made an attack error, which sealed Shoemaker’s first-set win.
The second set started off much different as the Lady Knights pulled ahead with an early 11-4 lead before a call off the net was called in favor of Shoemaker.
Alexia Wilkinson and Emijah Spencer went up for the block against Brown’s kill attempt. The point was initially called in favor of Heights as the line referee called the play off of Wilkinson and Spencer’s torsos.
After the line referees met with the head referee at midline the call was overturned in favor of the Lady Grey Wolves.
The Lady Knights disagreed but answered back with a kill from Samantha Dreibelbis.
Heights’ Yerry then set the ball for a kill from McKayla Flowers and led 14-7 before forcing Shoemaker to call timeout.
“We focused on a lot of passing,” Wilder noted. “The mechanics of passing, the mechanics of hitting and the mechanics of your footwork in setting.
“And I’m glad it’s showing.”
Spencer had a kill attempt into the net, but instead of giving up, libero Nicole Pena played off the net to set the ball up for Wilkinson to get the kill as Shoemaker came within six points of Heights.
An ace from Pena had the Lady Grey Wolves within four points of the Lady Knights before Heights called a timeout.
Three consecutive kills from Williams, Wilkinson and Cherith Hicks tied the set 16-all.
Hicks added another two kills along with a kill from Wilkinson to grab a 20-17 lead for Shoemaker before forcing the Lady Knights to take another timeout.
Heights fought to catch up but a serve from Monique Allen went straight into the net as Shoemaker took the second set, 25-21.
Moore gave credit to her staff, especially her assistant coach Clarneva Pierre, for helping her shape the team.
“I give my assistant a lot of credit,” Moore added. “She’s a diamond in the rough.
“I didn’t get frustrated, (Pierre) kept me focused on what’s in front of us instead of what’s behind or what’s far ahead.”
The Shoemaker student section erupted with the school chant before the final set.
Heights started the third set with a 6-3 lead but kills from Wilkinson had the Lady Grey Wolves catching up to tie the score at 6.
Dunn set the ball for Makayla Wiggins for a kill that kept the Lady Knights even with Shoemaker.
An ace from Allen and a kill from Dunn helped Heights pull ahead once more, but errors started to add up before Shoemaker took the lead once more and never looked back in winning the last set 25-21.
Bakken led the Lady Knights with five kills and six block assists. Flowers had six kills and four block assists.
For Shoemaker, Spencer led with seven kills, Wilkinson had six kills while Hicks added four kills.
“It’s always good to win,” Moore added. “But it will be a short celebration because we know what we have coming up so we’re just going to look forward and preparing for the next game.”
The second half of district continues Friday as the Lady Grey Wolves head to Belton to face the Tigers and the Lady Knights look to take the district sweep over the Lady Roos in Killeen.
Both varsity games are scheduled for 5:30 p.m.