Cleveland battled to a 3-1 win over the Lady Hurricanes, but had to fight to the finish for each win. The Lady Raiders lost Game 1 25-23 and recovered to win the second game 27-25. Game 4 went to Cleveland by a 25-21 margin and the Lady Raiders closed out the night with a 25-23 win.
"I felt like we kind of came in a little too comfortable after some big wins," said a relieved Flowers. "I kind of expected it. The girls worked it out and I'm glad they did."
Back-to-back blocks by Cleveland's Aneisha Barber put the Lady Raiders up 8-4 in the second game, but Cleveland had to come from behind minutes later to tie it up at 15-all. Cleveland tied it up again at 21-21 then battled the Lady 'Canes point-for-point to a 25-25 tie. A Sabra Martin ace made it 26-25 and a ball out of bounds gave the Lady Raiders the win.
Playing without junior middle hitter Qetuwrah Abdullah-Muhhamad, Cleveland opened 7-1 lead in the third game. Jessica Murray made it 17-10 with a kill and Addie Strode made it 20-14 with another kill. East Hamilton made it 24-21 but another ball outside the lines gave Cleveland the win.
"We didn’t play ‘Q’ tonight. We are giving her a rest because of her shoulder. Anytime that happens the rest of the girls have to work harder to make up for that," Flowers said of one half of the Cleveland version of the Twin Towers.
The Lady Raiders bounced back from a 5-2 deficit in the closing game and took a 13-10 lead after a scoring streak that included blocks by Langford and Murray along with an Eva Wilhelm ace.
Langford broke a 14-14 tie and put the Lady Raiders up 18-14 after a Geren ace. The Lady Hurricanes came right back to tie the game three more times before The Lady Raiders came back with the final three points of the night to get the win.
Langford ended the night with 20 kills and four blocks for Cleveland while Wilhelm picked up- 35 receptions, booked 19 service points and picked up 31 digs. Hale scored big in the kill column with 18 while Murray picked up 17 receptions, had 20 digs and two kills. K.K. Clements finished up with 15 receptions and 13 digs and Geren booked 22 service points and 32 assists for the Lady Raiders.
"They pulled it out and I'm proud of them for pulling out. We had some good moments. We were passing pretty well. We were just having a lot of trouble at the net blocking. It just did not fall our way. We didn't do a good job of covering our hitters and we had some hitting errors," Flowers said.