• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

WCHS volleyball falls in distict final to W. Hills

CALEIGH EVANS goes for a kill during the 41st District championship match between Woodford County High School and Western Hills on Wednesday, Oct. 19, at Western Hills. While the Lady Jackets lost 3-1, Evans was named to the All-41st District team for her efforts. (Photo by Rick Capone)

The Woodford County High School volleyball team went into the 41st District championship match against Western Hills on Wednesday, Oct. 19, at Western Hills, looking to capture their fourth title in five years.

While the Lady Jackets played hard, Western Hills was just a little better on this night and won the match 3-1 (19-25, 25-18, 25-17, 25.15) to capture the 2016 district title.

“We started off incredibly strong and confident,” said Woodford head coach Meghan Bottom. “We just weren’t able to finish.”

With the loss, Woodford is now 19-16 overall, 8-8 in the region and 4-2 in the district.

Following the match, three Lady Jackets – Sophie Adams, Mary Crutchfield and Caleigh Evans – were named to the 41st District All-Tournament team.

“Caleigh is a huge offensive threat both with her hitting and her serving abilities,” said Bottom. “She was able to get some big kills and aces throughout the game which helped to keep our team’s energy level up.

“Mary and Sophie challenged Western Hills with their aggressive and consistent serving. Both players also showed incredible poise in regards to their ball control making some great passes at key times.

“Our three senior captains led consistently through the entire match with their positive, encouraging comments and aggressive play even when things weren’t going our way.”

While Woodford lost the final, its season is not over yet, as the team advanced to the 11th Region tournament with an opening round win over Franklin County in the district tournament.

In the regions, Woodford faced Madison Central in its opening round match on Monday, Oct. 24, at Madison Central, and lost 3-1 (11-25-, 25-22, 25-11, 25-21) The Lady Jackets end their season with a 19-17 record.

Heading into the district final, Woodford and Western Hills had split their regular season matches. The Lady Jackets won the first meeting 3-2 in August, while the Lady Wolverines won the second meeting 3-1 just a couple of weeks ago.

As shown by their two meetings, Woodford and Western Hills were evenly matched teams, and it showed early in the first set as the two teams stayed even or within a point or two of each other early, with ties at 1-1, 2-2, 4-4, 7-7 and 8-8.

SENIORS HONORED. On Thursday, Oct. 13, prior to its 3-0 win over East Jessamine, the Woodford County High School volleyball team honored its seniors in a short ceremony in front of family, friends and fans. The seniors are, from left, Sophie Adams, Mary Crutchfield, Caleigh Evans, Cheyenne Barrier, Ashlyn Chumley and Kennedy Morgan. (Photo by Chris Holbrook)

The Lady Jackets then took a 9-8 lead and held it the rest of the set.

Later in the set, a kill by junior Alex Gililland, an ace by senior Caleigh Evans, along with four errors by Western Hills, and Woodford had a 21-15 lead.

The Lady Wolverines did manage to score four more points, but the Lady Jackets were able to close out the first set with a 25-19 win.

The second set began much like the first set, with both teams still playing even, with Western Hills taking a one point lead, and Woodford coming back to tie it on the next point.

After three ties at 1-1, 3-3 and 4-4, Woodford took a two-point lead 6-4 on an ace by Evans and an error by Western Hills.

The Lady Jackets held onto the lead until the Lady Wolverines tied it 11-11, then took a lead 12-11.

After that, Western Hills held the lead the rest of the set. At set point, 24-18, the Lady Wolverines got a kill to win the second set 25-18 and tie the match up at one game each.

In the third set, Woodford looked like it was going to recover from the second set loss and regain the momentum in the match, as the Lady Jackets took an early 3-0 lead, and fought hard to stay ahead of Western Hills.

However, the Lady Wolverines fought back and tied the set 6-6; then, on a Woodford error, they took a one point lead, 7-6.

After that Western Hills was in control of the third set the rest of the way, as no matter what Woodford did to try and catch up, the Lady Wolverines had an answer, as they opened up a seven-point lead, 17-10.

Soon after, Western Hills had set point, 24-17, and then won it 25-17 on an over pass that fell to the floor on Woodford’s side of the court.

Using the momentum from their third set win, the Lady Wolverines took control of the fourth set early and opened a 10-5 lead.

Woodford continued to play hard, but Western Hills had an answer for whatever the Lady Jackets threw their way.

Then, with Western Hills ahead 22-15, a Woodford attack error and a Lady Wolverines’ ace made it set point, 24-15.

On the next play, Western Hills blocked a Woodford attack attempt to close out the set and the match, 25-15.

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