• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

Lady Jackets rally to beat district foe Franklin Co.

The Woodford County High School volleyball team took to the road on Thursday, Sept. 1, to take on district-rival Franklin County, and after losing the first set, the Lady Jacket rallied to win the next three sets, and the match, 3-1 (16-25, 25-19, 25-20, 25-20). “After a slow start, the seniors really stepped up to rally the team,” said Woodford head coach Meghan Bottom. “That made all the difference between the first game and the last three.” It was a tough fight from the start. in this match. In front of a partisan Lady Flyers crowd, the Lady Jackets lost the first set 25-16, and it looked like it might be a long night ahead for them. Then, following the first set, the team talked things over in the huddle and when they came back out on the floor, momentum began to change. “The main topics of discussion revolved around increasing energy and focus on the court and not being afraid to make aggressive mistakes,” said Bottom. “We led most of the second set, although not by a significant margin. We led the entire third and fourth sets.” After Franklin County took a lead in the second set, Woodford tied it up and went on to win the set, 25-19. Same thing happened in the third set, as Franklin County took a small lead, but Woodford came back, fought hard and won the set, 25-20. In the fourth game, it was all Woodford, as their determination seemed to have worn Franklin County down, and the Lady Jackets won the set, 25-20, and won the match, 3-1. Bottom was pleased with how her team responded in the match, and noted the play of some of her players. “Evelyn (Milburn) has been a force to be reckoned with since being asked to lead the varsity team as a freshman setter,” said Bottom. “Her aggressive play and non-stop hustle have helped us rally out of some tight spots.” In addition, “Both middles made some big plays at key times... Caleigh Evans with some big kills, and Lauren Smiley with some big blocks. Karigan Smith also provided steady serve receive play. “And, Alex Gililland is developing nicely as an outside hitter. She shows great enthusiasm on the court which sparks energy in the team.” With the win, Woodford is now 7-5 overall, 3-1 in the region and undefeated in the district with a 2-0 record. Woodford has a busy schedule this week. Following a home match against Bryan Station tonight (Thursday, Sept. 8), the team hosts the Woodford County Invitational volleyball tournament, Friday and Saturday, Sept. 9 and 10. “As always, our varsity tournament will be full of tough competition having several teams with players looking to play at the college level,” said Bottom. Along with Woodford, seven teams will participate this year – Allen Central, Bardstown, Boyle County, Lexington Catholic, North Bullitt, Spencer County, and Western Hills. Two courts will be used.On Friday, six matches will be played starting at 5:30 p.m., then on Saturday, 14 matches will be played starting at 9 a.m. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children.

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