By MICHAEL CHILDERS, CJ Correspondent
Heading into Thursday night's match-up at the Wigwam, Pulaski County had not came away with a victory against Southwestern since the 2007 season.
That six-year losing streak came to an end after Thursday night's match, as Teresa Combs' Lady Maroons came away with a 3-1 victory (15-25, 25-18, 25-18, 25-15) over the home standing Lady Warriors of Southwestern.
After the Lady Warriors grabbed the opening game with 25-15 victory, the Lady Maroons answered back with three consecutive victories to take the match. With the 3-1 victory over Southwestern, Pulaski County moved to 18-9 on the year.
"We came out flat in the beginning, but we pulled it together and executed what we needed to," began Combs. "This was a total team effort tonight. Their wasn't one individual who stood out tonight -- everyone contributed tonight. I'm really proud of the girls."
History would be made in game one, when the Lady Maroons took a 2-1 lead after a kill from senior Samantha Randolph. It would be no ordinary kill however, as it was the 1,000th kill of Randolph's volleyball career.
The Lady Maroon head coach was really pleased to see Randolph become the first player in Pulaski County volleyball history to reach the 1,000-kill mark.
"Samantha has set the bar for our program, so it's up to everyone else behind to try and catch her," praised Combs. "She is a really hard worker and a great team player. I couldn't be more proud of her and the accomplishment she reached tonight."
Game two would go back and forth early on, but Pulaski County used a 6-0 run to grab a 9-4 lead with. Thanks to that early run, the Lady Maroons were able to distance themselves and went on to win by a 25-18 margin.
Game three was close for much of the game, as the game was knotted up at 15-15 at one point. The Lady Maroons would take the lead at 16-15 and never relinquish that lead back, allowing them to take the third game by seven points at 25-18.
Pulaski County, once again, would use a late-game surge to come away with the victory in game four. With the 25-15 win in game four, the Lady Maroons took the match with a 3-1 win.
Southwestern, who fell to 11-10 on the season with the loss, just couldn't seem to match the intensity of the Lady Maroons.
"It always sucks to losing to a crosstown rival," told first-year Southwestern head coach Courtney Compton. "I remember how it felt when I played, too. They're a good team and they wanted to beat us, so that's what got them the win."
With the victory on Thursday night, Pulaski County defeated Southwestern for the first time since August 30, 2007. The Lady Maroons beat the Lady Warriors in two of their three meetings that year.
Randolph, along with her historic kill, had a match-high 21 kills on the evening. Jessica Ping chimed in with ten kills, while Ashtyn Lyons had five kills. Katie Dick had four kills, while Cece Roberts and Chelsea both finished with three kills each.
Southwestern was led in kills by senior Kasey Williams, who had nine on the night. Fellow senior teammate McKenzie Jones had eight kills, while Jenny Gaunce was right behind her with seven. Katie Latham and Hannah Brown each tallied five kills, while Katie Adams had four.
Prior to the game, Willams and Jones were apart of Senior Night festivities. Compton is counting on those two young ladies to lead the charge for Southwestern in the postseason.
"We have two seniors, who are great leaders both on and off the court," told Compton. "They are outstanding players, and I'm going to miss them next year. We're ready to defend our region title and go to state, and they're definitely going to lead us that way."
Southwestern and Pulaski County will both return to action on Tuesday, October 8th. The Lady Warriors will be on the road at Wayne County, while the Lady Maroons will make the trip to Russell County.
Follow Michael Childers on Twitter: @GetChili22