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Commanderettes earn runner-up finish in 5th Region All-A Classic

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By Brandon Mattingly

The Washington County volleyball team (10-3) looked to turn their hot start to 2013 into a 5th Region All-A championship on Saturday, but they were stopped in the title game by Green County, 2-0 (25-16, 25-17).

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The Commanderettes earned a first-round bye in the tournament, which was held at Washington County High School, before knocking off Campbellsville, 2-0 (25-9, 25-10) in the second round. The win earned them a spot in the finals against the Lady Dragons, but WC was unable to keep the run going.

After getting out to an early lead in the opening game of the championship match, the Commanderettes quickly saw Green County take control of the first game. Washington County Assistant Coach Casey Mudd said the difference was how the team handled their opponent’s strong serves.

“In the first game we had awesome serve-receive. We took the momentum from the get-go, and when our serve-receive turns on, our sets are better and our hits are better,” Mudd said. “Toward the end of the game, we were having a hard time keeping the ball in play on our serve-receive. We gave them a lot of points at the end of that first game.”

Green County eventually closed out 25-16 win in game one, and they carried that momentum into game two.

The Dragons scored five of the first six points in the second game, but the Commanderettes answered with a 5-1 run of their own. The spurt was highlighted by a senior Morgan Mann kill and an ace by senior Mackenzie Messer, tying the score at eight.

Green County pulled out to a 14-11 lead, before Messer put away a point for Washington County to close the gap to two points. That, however, is when the Lady Dragons reeled off four unanswered points for a commanding 18-12 lead.

From there, the teams traded points, with the lead bouncing between five and seven points. With a 23-17 lead, the Lady Dragons put two final points together to finish off the match and the tournament.

Mudd said her team gave a lot of effort, and that they know what mistakes they made.
“In the second game we traded points. We could have been stronger on the attack and we have to be better blockers,” she said. “Overall, I’m pleased with how they played. Green (County) is the best team we’ve seen thus far, so we’re definitely improving.”

 

Campbellsville
Washington County had a much easier time earlier on Saturday, taking care of Campbellsville in two games.

The first game was all Washington County the entire way after Campbellsville took the opening point. The Commanderettes took 10 of the next 11 points, forcing the Lady Eagles to take a timeout trailing 10-2. Campbellsville was able to close the gap to 11-5, but junior Johanna Spalding served Washington County on an 8-0 run that included a big kill by Mann. Leading 19-5, they were able to close out game one easily down the stretch, helped by a kill and an ace on back-to-back points for Messer.

Game two was much of the same, as the Commanderettes held eads of 7-2, 10-4 and 15-6 on their way to a convincing 25-10 win.

It was a steady assault throughout, including a pair of senior Jessica Foster aces on their way to the early advantage. Holding a 22-10 lead, Washington County put the game away on back-to-back kills by junior Halie Browning, the second of which was set up by a nice diving dig by Foster. Campbellsville misplayed the ensuing possession to clinch the Commanderettes a spot in the All-A final.

Other scores          from the week:
Monday, Aug. 26: 3-2 (18-25, 21-25, 30-28, 25-21, 15-4) win at Bardstown
Tuesday, Aug. 27: 2-0 (25-16, 25-16) win over Danville
Thursday, Aug. 29: 2-0 (25-20, 25-10) loss at West Jessamine

Washington County was back on the court on Tuesday after press time in their lone matchup with rival Marion County on the year. They’ll visit Anderson County on Thursday and will host Elizabethtown on Monday.