LAKE WALES, Fla. — Heading into Wednesday’s fourth set, the outcome looked bleak for Southeastern, just 25 points from a crushing loss, following a 25-14 loss.
The Fire came roaring back, forcing a fifth set with a 25-18 win, and took the match with a dominant 15-5 win in the tiebreaker.
“This is finally showing our girls they can do it,” said coach Audrey Goldsberry. “Tonight really showed them that what we’ve told them about how good they are is true.”
Southeastern (12-5, 4-2 TSC) took the first set 25-22 behind a team .385 attacking percentage with 13 kills against three errors, before dropping the second 25-23.
In the first, the Fire found themselves behind 19-10, but won the next 11 points. During that stretch, Kaitlin Boyd recorded two kills and three blocks.
Boyd finished with a monster night, scoring 15 kills, a .462 attacking percentage, and added four digs five blocks, and an ace.
The second set saw Southeastern commit nine attacking errors, and the Royals winning four of the last five points to even the match at one.
In the third, Warner posted 11 kills with just three errors, and hustled around to keep the ball off the floor, and held Southeastern to just seven kills with nine errors.
Everything shifted in the fourth set, with the Fire jumping out to a 9-2 advantage, benefiting from four Warner errors, and three kills from Kelsey Morton.
“I told the team before the fourth set that this was their game,” said Goldsberry. “We were trying to play Warner’s game and needed to step up and play our game.”
Morton posted 10 kills, three digs, and three blocks.
The Fire came out for the tiebreaking set virtually unstoppable, getting a kill and an ace from Kaity Reed, who finished with a match-high 16 kills, and added a team-high 16 digs. In the fifth set, the Fire had eight kills, and just one error. Warner was held to two kills and four errors in the set.
“Everything just started clicking for us,” said Goldsberry. “All season, we’ve had one or two people on and one or two people off; we finally had all six on at the same time.”
Natalie Anderson directed the offense, posting a match-high 49 assists, and added 15 digs.
In the back row, Kiana Sawtelle added 14 digs to go along with her 11 kills.
The Fire are back in action at home Saturday against Florida Memorial at 2 p.m.