Knights fall in region

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By Jesse Osbourne

The Marion County High School volleyball team couldn't get past Elizabethtown (31-11) in the second round of the region tournament Wednesday in Hodgenville.

The Lady Knights (29-9) fell 2-0 to the Lady Panthers.

"This was just not our night," Knights Head Coach David Hibbard said. "We were just a fraction off and that fraction was enough for a good team like E'town to take advantage. E'town also played great defense and kept us on our heels. That's what good teams do and we did not respond to that. We also lost some confidence after letting set one slip away from us so we never really gave ourselves a shot to win."

The Lady Knights lost 25-21, 25-15 to cap off their most successful season in the program's history.

"Overall, this has been a tremendous season," Hibbard said. "This group has been one of my favorites to coach because of their amazingly positive attitudes and their desire to make each other better. We set a new school record for wins at 29 and continue to dominate our district. I am very honored to have coached this group and feel like we have set new standards for our volleyball program. Now our younger players have to make the commitment to play at this level and continue the tradition built by this team."

The Lady Knights got into the second round with a thrilling 2-1 (25-20, 21-25, 25-22) victory over LaRue County.

The Lady Hawks beat the Knights twice before this season but Marion County brought an energized crowd that helped carry them over the hump.

"This was an amazing atmosphere to be a part of," Hibbard said. "Regional volleyball is always exciting but rarely has this much energy except in the finals. I was so proud of the way we came out with intensity, focus and energy. We played the entire match as if we believed we would win it. Our girls never quit and our comeback in set three was nothing short of awesome."

Seniors Shelby Mattingly and Brooklyn Burnside were named to the All-Region team.

The Knights finish with the most wins (29) and fewest losses (9) in program history.