Lady Knights take second place in tourney

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By Jessica Veatch and Josh Veatch

The Marion County Lady Knights volleyball team competed in the Harrison County tournament this past weekend, where they came in second place, went on the road last Thursday night where they lost in four sets, and defeated Washington County on Monday of last week. Their overall record now stands at 26-6.

Marion County in the Harrison County Invitational

Last Saturday, the Lady Knights competed in the Harrison County Invitational, where they were able to finish as runner-ups of the tourney. In pool play, Marion County won three matches, defeating Ludlow 21-9 and 21-15, beating Montgomery County 21-11 and 21-12, and winning against Bracken County 21-2 and 21-8.

In tournament play, the Lady Knights won their semifinal match against Pendleton County 25-9 and 25-12 before falling to Pikeville in the finals 25-17, 21-25, and 11-25. Head Coach David Hibbard commented that the team played very consistently all day until the final set of the final match.

"Then our offense just fell apart. We had 9 hitting errors, which is really not like us," Hibbard said. "We really learned that the only team that can beat us in those situations is ourselves. This is the first time in school history where one of our teams have gone to the finals of 3 tournaments in one season."

Marion County vs. Central Hardin

The Marion County Lady Knights volleyball team went on the road Thursday to play Central Hardin, a team that had not lost a set in regional competition. The Lady Knights were able to win one set, but fell to Central Hardin in four sets, taking their overall record to 22-5.

Due to poor passing and defense, the Lady Knights lost the first set 10-25.  Marion County only had one kill in the set. However, the Lady Knights battled back and made a tremendous turn around in the second set, winning 25-21. As a team, Marion County had 13 kills, with Kyvin Goodin-Rogers, Abby Murphy, and Valerie Mattingly each having three kills in the set, while Logan Powell came up with four blocks. Poor passing and defense once again led to losses in sets 3 and 4, with scores of 12-25 and 14-25. Powell had five blocks in the two sets, but the offense couldn't gain any momentum.

According to Head Coach David Hibbard, when the offense got going in set 2, the Lady Knights proved they were as good as anybody by beating Central Hardin.

"I thought we were ready to challenge Central for a whole match-we managed to do it for just one set," Hibbard said. "When our passing and defense struggle, we struggle to compete (like we did in sets 1, 3, & 4). I was proud of our team for being the only team in the region to take a set from Central this season (they are currently 26-1). After we work on some of our weaknesses, I look forward to a rematch with them in the regional tournament."

The freshman and junior varsity teams were also in action last Thursday night against Central Hardin. The freshman team lost in two sets, 12-17 and 15-17.  The junior varsity team also lost in two sets, 7-21 and 9-21.

Marion County vs. Washington County

On Monday of last week, the Lady Knights went on the road to play Washington County, where they were able to come away with a victory after playing five sets.  This win took the team's record to 22-4.

In the first set, the Lady Knights jumped out to a 10-4 lead and never looked back. Katie McKinney led Marion County with four kills while Heather Roberts had three aces.  The team had a total of 13 kills in the 25-16 win. Marion County was also able to win the second set 25-20. Roberts led the Lady Knights with four kills, while Abby Murphy and Nicole Mattingly added three kills each.  Kyvin Goodin-Rogers had a key block that sealed the set.

In set three, Marion County committed too many errors, allowing Washington County to gain momentum and take a 26-24 win. Morgan Clark had three aces and Mattingly had four blocks, but it wouldn't be enough in the loss. The Lady Knights also dropped the fourth set due to poor serve receive. Marion County was aced five times in a key run and defensive errors down the stretch aided in the 19-25 loss. Marion County battled back in the fifth and final set to win the match, in a set dominated by Roberts and Goodin-Rogers. Roberts had four kills and Goodin-Rogers added three blocks. Logan Powell added good serving to help the Lady Knights seal the win 15-11.

According to Coach Hibbard, the team came out strong and played extremely well in the first two sets, playing efficiently and powerfully.

"Then we started to make a few mistakes, especially on the defensive side and let WC creep back in the match. We should have won set 3, but our defense let us down big time. From there, we lost a little focus and slept walked through set 4," he said. "I did really like the way we regained our composure to finish set 5 with power and confidence. The rivalry between MC and WC was really on display with the great crowd we had and added a great touch to an exciting match."

The freshman and junior varsity teams were also in action against Washington County. The freshman team was able to win in three sets, 11-17, 17-14, and 17-13.  The junior varsity team, however, lost in three sets with scores of 17-21, 21-14, and 9-21.