MANATEE -- The visiting Southeast Seminoles used a strong start to discourage the Bayshore Bruins en route to a 3-1 win Tuesday in a Class 5A-District 10 semifinal volleyball match.
"Our girls followed the game plan. I told them if we can jump out early, we could win this," Seminole head coach Nancy Cothron said.
After taking the first game 25-24, Southeast took a commanding 2-0 lead with a 25-19 win in the second game.
"We played nervous and felt the early pressure," Bruins head coach Ralph McElhiney said.
Never miss a local story.
Bayshore did respond by winning the third game 25-21, but couldn't sustain the momentum and fell 25-15 in the decisive fourth game.
"We just wanted to minimize our errors and stay disciplined," Coach Cothron said.
The Bruins were led by Joy Norman with eight kills, while Kristen Fleury finished with eight digs and 18 assists.
"Losing that first game really hurt us, but I'm proud of the way my girls fought," McElhiney said. "We are losing four seniors, but we will be back strong next year."
The two teams were tied with Gulfport Boca Ciega for the best record in the district, but Boca Ciega earned the No. 1 seed after a tiebreaking coin flip. Leaving Bayshore with home court for the semifinal as the two seed and Southeast as the three seed.
Seminoles senior Emma Bartges played lights out, finishing with 16 kills, six aces and two digs.
"We just wanted to play together and with a lot of energy," Bartges said.
Southeast was able to avenge a 3-0 loss to the Bruins in each team's last district match earlier this season.
"We thought about that a lot in preparing, we also lost to this team last year in the district championship so we wanted to get them back," Bartges added.
Marline Valcin finished with 12 kills, while Molly Persson added 20 assists and Emma Rissman chipped in four kills for the Seminoles.
Southeast will visit Boca Ciega for the district title at 7 p.m. Friday.