It was a repeat of last season's district and region volleyball championships on Tuesday night at the Wigwam as the Southwestern Lady Warriors took on the Wayne County Lady Cardinals in the 2019 48th district championship. Wayne County entered the match as the number one seed and with a bye, while the Lady Warriors defeated McCreary Central on Monday night to make their way to the championship game. The Lady Cardinals entered the match on a eleven game winning streak with a record of 22-12 while Southwestern entered with a 27-9 record. A highly entertaining match was expected, and that is what the fans got as the Lady Warriors pulled out the 3-1 victory.
"Tonight our team came together better than they have all season," stated Southwestern Volleyball Coach Melissa Gaunce. "It wasn't about individual stats it was all about the team. They played unselfishly and with heart! As a coach you hope that your team is playing their best at this point in the season and tonight was definitely one of the best games they have had all season. We hope to take the momentum from tonight and use that to drive their desire to win next week."
Grace Taylor came to play in the first set as she got five kills and two blocks in the set. Emmy Vanover chipped in with three kills and two blocks, and the Lady Warrior defense came up with multiple digs. Wayne County kept it close, but Southwestern took the first set by a score of 25-21.
Taylor continued her stellar play early in the second set as she led the Lady Warriors to an early 4-1 lead on her serve, but the Lady Cardinals came back to take a 13-9 lead, forcing a time out by Southwestern Coach Melissa Gaunce. The Lady Warriors pulled close with six kills in the set by Vanover, and Payton Brock had three kills late to give the Lady Warriors a 23-21 lead. However, Southwestern was unable to hang on as Sarah Gregory had consecutive blocks for the Lady Cardinals and Wayne County got the second set win by a score of 25-23.
Vanover dominated at the beginning of the third set with three early kills and a block and Southwestern took a 5-2 lead. Aces by Hanna Browning, Kami Wilson and Maddy Foster helped the cause, and the Lady Warriors took a 17-11 lead, forcing a timeout by Wayne County. Southwestern maintained the momentum, however, and a block and kill by Browning, two more kills by Vanover, and a kill by Taylor led the Lady Warriors to the 25-13 victory in the third set.
Avery Rose started the fourth set with a kill for Southwestern, and two kills for Taylor and a kill for Leah Hollis gave the Lady Warriors a 5-0 lead. Again, Wayne County refused to give up and kept the set close. But the defense of Libero Kami Wilson and her sister Sydney Wilson made play after play and Vanover and Taylor continued to dominate at the net, and the Lady Warriors won the fourth set at 25-20, taking the match at 3-1.
Both teams advance to the 12th region tournament next week which will be played at the Wigwam. The All-Tournament team consisted of Taylor Davis and Elizabeth Anderson from McCreary County, Annessa Roysdon, Sarah Gregory and Macey Blevins from Wayne County, and Hanna Browning, Grace Taylor, Emmy Vanover, and Sydney Wilson from Southwestern.