Commanderette comeback falls short

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By Brandon Mattingly


The Commanderette volleyball team nearly returned the favor from a dramatic come-from-behind loss to rival Marion County earlier in the season on Monday night, but Washington County’s comeback bid at home fell just short, 3-2 (25-16, 25-20, 24-26, 19-25, 15-11).

Marion County jumped on top early, grabbing a quick lead and never surrending it in game one, although WC clawed back into the game with a 6-2 run to close the gap to 14-12 MC. Marion County responded in a big way, outscoring the Commanderettes 11-4 down the stretch to put away the first game.

Game two looked promising for Washington County, leading 15-9, but that lead was wiped away quickly when the Lady Knights stormed back to tie the game at 15. A 5-0 rally led by Kyvin Goodin-Rogers buried WC late in game two, as Marion County wrapped up a 25-20 win.
With the Lady Knights leading the match two games to zero and the Commanderettes surrendering a six-point lead on the way to a game-two loss, WC turned the match around in the third game and gave themselves life for a late rally.

“These girls give 110 percent every single time,” said Washington County Head Coach Anne Mudd. “There were adjustments we had to make, but these girls are so supportive of each other and I’m proud of them. I hope they play the way they played tonight the rest of the week.”

Washington County jumped out to a 5-0 lead in game three, but allowed the Lady Knights to get back in the match quickly, while struggling to return Marion County’s serves.
The Commanderettes, however, kept fighting and found themselves in a 24-24 game, before a block at the net by junior Morgan Mann and a powerful kill by sophomore Johanna Spalding sealed the third game for WC.

Washington County gave themselves more room to work with in game four, taking a commanding lead at 17-11 with a 5-0 run that forced the Lady Knights to burn a timeout to regroup. It didn’t slow down the Commanderette run, however, as they kept Marion County at arm’s length throughout the game on their way to a 25-19 win that was capped off by a Halie Browning kill.

The deciding fifth game was a back-and-forth battle that looked promising for Washington County early, as they claimed a 4-2 lead, but an abrupt 5-0 Marion County run finally slowed the Commanderette momentum and put the Lady Knights back in the driver’s seat.
Leading 8-7, Marion County went on their most timely run of the match, reeling off six of the next seven points to put themselves on the brink of victory at 14-8.

The Commanderettes had one last three-point rally left in the tank, including another block by Mann and a well-placed kill by senior Emily Spalding, but they wouldn’t be able to close the gap as the Lady Knights finished off the 15-11 win.

“They’re the best blocking team that we’ve seen so far,” Mudd said. “They seem to block better outside than they even do up the middle. They’re a good team and we’ve got to give them credit, but I’m really proud that our girls took them to five games.”

Washington County was at Bethlehem last Tuesday, losing to the Banshees 3-0 (25-21, 25-11, 25-16). Mudd said her team just couldn’t get moving in the right direction against the defending district champs.

“We needed to step up in the third game, but I guess we just couldn’t get momentum,” Mudd said. “We’re just going to put it in the past because anything can happen in the district tournament.”

The Commanderettes hosted Nelson County on Tuesday after press time and will visit Bardstown in their final district matchup on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. They’ll be participating in the Rocket Invitational in Rockcastle County this weekend, with their first game scheduled against Estill County at 10 a.m. on Saturday.