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Lady Knights clinch three-peat

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By Jesse Osbourne

 

The Marion County High School volleyball team made program history Tuesday night of last week by winning an unprecedented third consecutive district championship.

The Knights knocked off Taylor County 2-0 (25-19, 26-24) for the third straight year. The teams have played in the district championship in the last years, ever since they joined the same district.

Marion County also tied a program record for wins in a season with 28. The Lady Knights are guaranteed to finish the season with their best winning percentage in program history as their record stands at 28-8.

Head Coach David Hibbard predicted in the pre-season that this could be his best team yet. The team's dominance is proof he was right.

"Winning three district titles in a row is an unbelievable accomplishment," he said. "I give our girls all the credit in the world for working hard enough to continue our dominance in the district. This makes the eighth season in a row we have played in the district finals. We feel like we worked hard enough this season to deserve this title. This also makes two of the last three seasons we have gone undefeated in the district."

The Knights struggled a bit at times to knock off Taylor but were able to finish out the match.

"This one was a little more difficult because we seemed out of sync in both of our tournament matches," Hibbard said. "But in spite of our struggles, we still managed to overcome our mistakes to win. Sometimes that is what you have to do - win in spite of yourself. Our girls hung tough and when Taylor made their runs, we responded and were able to win. Pressure sometimes does strange things to you and we made some plays we normally do not make. We'll get those areas corrected so we don't make those same errors in the regional tournament."

The Knights opened region tournament play with LaRue County (26-10) Monday at LaRue County. Results were unknown at press time.

The Lady Hawks got the best of the Knights twice this season, winning 2-0 and 2-0.

On Monday of last week, the Knights easily dispatched Adair County 2-0 in the first round of the tournament.

All-district tournament team members are Shelby Mattingly, Katie Dingus and Shakyra Young.