ZEPHYRHILLS — Down two sets and with the momentum on Lecanto's side Wednesday, Zephyrhills looked like its district title hopes were down and out.
But the Bulldogs took advantage of their experience in similar situations to win 23-25, 17-25, 25-11, 25-19, 15-10 and reach the 4A-8 title game.
"I basically said to the ladies, it takes three wins to win a match and we have learned that the hard way," Zephyrhills coach Dan Muir said. "We are going to have our hands full with Nature Coast."
The hard way was how the Bulldogs advanced. Outside hitter Kaitlyn Blount nailed four straight aces to give Zephyrhills (19-4) a 24-16 lead in the fourth set. Middle hitter Taylor Willis finished with 17 kills.
Nature Coast (19-8) earned a straight-sets win over Land O'Lakes, 25-6, 22-13, 25-18.
The Sharks came out firing in the first set, but the Gators (11-9) would not go away quietly in the final two sets, even taking an 8-7 lead in the second set.
"The girls settled down and brought their intensity up tonight," Nature Coast coach Dan Murphy said.
The Sharks got key efforts from Courtney Liddle (19 kills, six aces), Alex Livengood (four aces, 14 kills) and Rachel Powell (four kills, 30 assists).