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The Marion County Lady Knights volleyball team claimed their fifth consecutive 20th District title Tuesday of last week, as they defeated the Taylor County Lady Cardinals to take their overall record to 30-6.
This is the Lady Knights' 7th overall district title out of 13 seasons. This year, their district record was 8-0. The Lady Knights won their match over Adair County on Oct. 8 to advance to the district finals. This is the first season the Lady Knights have won 30 matches in a season. According to Head Coach David Hibbard, only three other teams in the region have reached that mark, including Elizabethtown, Central Hardin and Green County.
Marion County vs. Taylor County
The Lady Cardinals came out ready to play in the district championship game on Oct. 9, giving Marion County a challenge. In the first set, the action went back and forth as Taylor County took a 10-5 lead. Katie McKinney led the surge to tie the score at 10 with two kills with Kyvin Goodin-Rogers adding a block. However, the Lady Cardinals went on a 7-1 run to take a 17-11 lead before McKinney led the charge once again with five aces. Goodin-Rogers added two more blocks and the Lady Knights were able to secure the win 25-21.
In the second set, Marion County came out with much better defense and passing, enabling them to keep the lead the entire set. Four Lady Knights had at least two kills in this set, with McKinney and Valerie Mattingly leading the way with three kills each. Jeni Hall had three aces in the set, while Goodin-Rogers added two blocks in the 25-18 win. The Lady Knights were able to dominate the third set of the match, winning 25-13. Nicole Mattingly and Heather Roberts led the offense with four kills each, while Logan Powell added three blocks, two kills, and two aces.
Coach Hibbard said he was not expecting Taylor County to come out with as much energy and fight as they showed, taking the Lady Knights a little by surprise as a team.
"But because we kept our composure and played consistently, we were able to make plays against their defense," he said. "I think I am the most proud of our team for meeting that intensity with consistently excellent play. Once we had the first set, we kept the pressure on them and overwhelmed them at the end. I was especially proud of our seniors who led the charge through the whole match. When we needed big plays, they stepped up and made them. We had a very well-balanced attack from our entire team.
Three Lady Knights were selected for the All-District team including Heather Roberts, Katie McKinney and Kyvin Goodin-Rogers.
Marion County vs. Adair County
On Oct. 8, at Taylor County High School, the Marion County Lady Knights easily won their match against Adair County in three straight sets. The scores of the match were 25-13, 25-9 and 25-4. According to Coach Hibbard, the Lady Knights played better and made fewer mistakes as the match went on.
"I was very proud of our effort in a match that was not very challenging," he said. "That is a great tribute to our focus that we can play against a bad team and get better as we play."
The win advanced Marion County to the finals of the district tournament.
Marion County is hosting the 5th Region Volleyball Tournament, where the Lady Knights were in action Monday night against Larue County. The Lady Knights were able to defeat Larue County in three straight sets, 25-17, 25-7, and 25-22.
Marion County will now face Central Hardin tonight in the semi-finals of the regional tournament at 6 p.m.