By Jimmie Earls
Sun Sports Writer
The Washington County Commanderettes volleyball team has been a force to be reckoned with lately, with a 2-1 win over Bethlehem on Sept. 23 for its third consecutive win. The match against the Banshees was the first of three straight district matches for the Commanderettes as they looked to gain ground on district leader Nelson County, which they would meet later in the week.
The match against Bethlehem marked the return of Morgan Thomas to the lineup. She had missed the previous week and a half with a pulled leg muscle. The time off must have done some good as Thomas scored 17 points and recorded eight kills in the match.
Clare Smith had 19 points with eight kills in another strong outing, while Emily Tingle had 11 points and Amber Taylor scored 12 points. Taylor was also 10-for-10 from the service line. Washington County once again used Jaclyn Kelty in the libero position and she did another excellent job.
The libero is a defensive specialist. The player must wear a different color jersey than everyone else so that she is easily identifiable since special rules apply to what she is allowed to do on the court, and how she substitutes into matches.
“She (Kelty) consistently dug balls and made perfect passes both in serve receive and in defensive transition,” said WC assistant volleyball coach Todd Osbourne. “Our setters Brittany Curtsinger and Sarah Teater also did a really good job of making good decisions in running the offense.”
Samantha Seger, Katherine Fields and Kelly Hill also played solid on the back row. Olivia Taylor did an outstanding job coming off the bench to serve late in game one to nail down the win.
WC won game one 25-21 against a tough Banshee team that fought back to take game two 22-25. The Commanderettes rebounded to win game three 25-21 to take the match and improve to 3-1 in district play.
It was a hard-fought match against Bethlehem, but they managed to get the victory and build momentum, which was exactly what they needed going into the match against Nelson County on Sept. 25.
Washington County was riding a three-match winning streak as it hosted Nelson County on Sept. 25. The Commanderettes seemed to be hitting their stride in recent play, but Nelson County has been solid all year, going undefeated in district competition. With the number one district seed on the line, WC would have its hands full if it were to give the Lady Cardinals their first district loss of the year.
Right away, Nelson County showed why they were number one, winning game one 25-18. Washington County showed some grit by taking game two 25-23.
Nelson County won the third game to win the match 2-1 and finish its district schedule undefeated at 6-0. Washington County’s district record fell to 3-2 with the loss.
“All in all I was pleased with our effort and intensity in the match,” said Osbourne. “It’s unfortunate that our passing was off as the other parts of our game were pretty solid.”
The JV team lost 0-2 to Nelson County, going 12-21 in game one and 19-21 in game two.
The freshman team was also swept 0-2 by the Lady Cards, losing 15-18 in each game.
Washington County will look to improve its standings in the district on Sept. 30 when it hosts Bethlehem.
The Commanderettes have two away matches coming up. On Oct. 2, they face Boyle County and then on Oct. 7, they take on Taylor County.The Commanderettes finish up the regular season at home on Oct. 9 when they host the Marion County Lady Knights.