The Lady Hawks are semifinals bound for the fourth time in program history, earning a four-set win over Alabama Huntsville in the opening match of the GSC Tournament Friday afternoon.
Shorter moves to 19-10 on the season; while UAH closes out the year 23-12.
Set scores were 25-23, 23-25, 25-21, 25-22.
After falling behind 8-3 in the opening frame, the Lady Hawks fought back to tie things up, 16-16. From there the teams traded the lead, until Shorter rattled off an 8-1 run to make it 24-19 game. UAH extended the set with four points of their own, before Morgan Cleveland closed out the win, 25-23, with a kill.
In set two, the Lady Hawks jumped out to an early lead, thanks in part to back-to-back aces from Kelsi Jones. Before taking an 11-4 run to extend their lead to ten, 15-5, on an error from UAH; forcing the Chargers to call their second timeout of the game. UAH came out the timeout strong, tallying a 7-1 run to cut the Lady Hawks lead to four, 16-12. The teams then traded points, with Shorter taking its second timeout with the 20-19 advantage. The Chargers tied the set 21-21, and after another back-and-forth rally, earned the win 25-23.
Tie at one set apiece, the teams battled in the third to pull away, matching each other point for point for most of the set. But, the Lady Hawks did just that midway through, using a four-point run to make it a 14-9 game. And after a point by UAH, extended their lead on another four-point rally to make it an 18-10 game. Then secured the win, 25-21 on a UAH service error.
The final set was again back-and-forth, with Shorter pulling away late to earn the win, 25-22. Tied at 19-all, the Lady Hawks used a 5-1 run to set up match point. And, after UAH tacked on two to make it a 24-22 game, recorded the final point on a kill from Tiffani Estep.
Estep led the offense for Shorter, turning in 18 kills on the afternoon and hitting .455 for the match. Cleveland added nine kills; while Jones chipped in with eight and four finished with six. Alli Bell led the effort in assists with 27, to go along with 22 from Tinsley Fain. The Lady Hawks were strong on the serve, turning in 10 aces for the game, including three from Jones in the second set. Madeline Munroe, Bell and Fain each added two apiece.
On the receiving end, Cheyenne McLemore led with 20 digs; while Cleveland added 19, Bell recorded 13 and fain chipped in with 11. Estep led the effort at the net with five blocks - three solo and two assists.
The Lady Hawks will look to upset the hosts Saturday afternoon to earn a spot in the finals, as they take on West Florida in the first of two semifinal matchups from the UWF Field House. Match time is set for 3:00pm ET.