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By Jimmie Earls
Sun Sports Writer
“This is the team I’ve been waiting to see all year,” said Washington County head volleyball coach Brett Hudson of his team after they came up just short against the Nelson County Lady Cardinals last Thursday in Springfield. The Lady Cards won 2-1 to improve to 6-0 in district play.
Nelson has already secured the top seed in district playoffs by coming into the match 5-0 in district play. But if the Commanderettes learned anything last week, it was that they can hang in there with the Lady Cards and give them a run for their money.
“Nelson is the team to beat in the district,” said Hudson. “Tonight, it could have gone either way. We took them to three games and we had the score at 24-23, had a great pass and set, but we hit the ball out by two feet. If we make that play, that would have been the game for us. So we were that close to beating a district powerhouse. Nelson County didn’t have an off-night. They had a good night. There might have been a few errors when they got down in serve receive, but it wasn’t like they gave up points and gave things away.”
The Commanderettes played strong in the first game, showing confidence and looking like they were enjoying themselves. They took the first game 25-19.
In game two against the Lady Cards, WC got behind 7-1 early and had some trouble coming back. Nelson County showed why they are a strong contenders by fighting back to win 25-15 in the second game.
As the showdown continued into a third and deciding game, the Commanderettes were determined to send a message to the Lady Cards.
Washington County would not go quietly as they fought for every point and keep pace with NC throughout the third game. WC was just one point away from getting the upset, but missed an opportunity to seal the victory and the Lady Cards came back to win two straight points, and thus the match.
Hudson says that he liked what he saw out of his team, and now they know they can compete with Nelson County.
“I’ve got all the confidence in the world in this team,” he said. “As individual players, they have to come out ready to play. In the past two matches, they haven’t done that, but tonight they came out fired up, focused and ready to play. If that team shows up for the rest of this season, then we have a great chance at winning the district championship.”
With the win, Nelson County improved their district record to 6-0, while Washington County fell to 2-3. Bardstown is guaranteed to be the bottom seed as they fell to Bethlehem last Thursday.
The way the district shapes up, it will be WC vs. Bethlehem and Nelson vs. Bardstown in opening round action.
“Bethlehem is a team we can beat,” added Hudson. “Nelson is a better team, but when we play our best, we’re every bit as good. We proved it tonight.”
Washington County will host the district playoffs this year, beginning Oct. 12, so the Commanderettes will have home court advantage.
Senior night will take place this Thursday as the Commanderettes host Boyle County in their final home match of the regular season.
See next week’s issue of The Springfield Sun for continuing Commanderette coverage.