SEMINOLE — A match that began on Wednesday with Clearwater taking a two-set lead over Seminole seemed on its way to a relatively easy victory for the Tornadoes after the postponed semifinals resumed inside Seminole's gymnasium on Thursday.
But the Warhawks fought back from deficits of 21-13 and 24-19 in the third set, eventually winning it 31-29.
The Tornadoes found their focus again and, after battling back and forth, turned back the Warhawks 25-18 to advance to the 5A-11 final against East Lake, an easy winner against Tarpon Springs in the other semifinal, 25-11, 25-15, 25-23.
"We just needed to keep our energy up and not get frustrated if they got close (in the fourth set)," said senior middle hitter Carey Froelicher, who along with Leah Mitchell led the Tornadoes with 13 kills.
"Now we need to carry that same energy over to Friday (against East Lake)."
The Tornadoes (16-6) used a balanced attack, with six players having five kills or more throughout the match to take the first two sets.
They were on their way to winning the third before faltering, with Seminole's Marissa Lisenbee keying the comeback with four of her 14 kills during the rally.
Becky Popp and Jenna Kirkwood also had 14 kills for the Warhawks.
East Lake was led by Lauran Eschenroeder with 12 kills and Brianna McComeskey with 10 kills.
The Eagles rested their starters for most of the third set in preparation for the Tornadoes, whom they beat during the regular season 3-1 and 3-2.