• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

Lady Jackets’ volleyball loses to Madison Central in regions

The Woodford County High School volleyball team saw its 2016 season come to an end in the first round of the 11th Region volleyball tournament on Monday, Oct. 24, with a 3-1 (11-25, 25-22, 25-11, 25-21) loss to Madison Central. “Overall, our team played aggressively and for one another against Madison Central,” said Woodford head coach Meghan Bottom. “While we were unable to come out with the victory, our team left everything on the court, and that is all I can ask for as their coach. I was very proud of their effort and play.” With the loss, Woodford ends its season with a 19-17 record. While Woodford lost to Madison Central, the Lady Jackets played much better than they did in their earlier match against them, which was at home on Sept. 27. In that match, they lost 3-0 (25-8, 25-19, 25-20). In their region match, the Lady Jackets fought hard from start to finish, winning the first set, and playing close in the other three. Bottom made note of four players who had good matches against Madison Central. “Georgia Sutterlin and Caleigh Evans both served as offensive anchors in our match against Madison Central accumulating several kills and aces between them,” she said. “Defensively, and with aggressive serving, Mary Crutchfield and Sophie Adams also made a huge impact in the match.” Two of those players, Crutchfield and Adams, are seniors and will graduate, while Sutterlin is a freshman and will return next season with a lot of experience. After a rough start to the season in which it lost one of its setters, senior Kennedy Morgan, to a knee injury, this Woodford team showed improvement all season long and is a team Bottom will long remember. “This team has really been a special one,” said Bottom. “Every member bought into the idea of the team being a family early on in the season and committed to improving themselves, one another, and the team as a whole. This is, in large part, due to the tone the seniors set with their hard work, commitment to, and unconditional support of, their teammates.” While the team does lose six seniors to graduation – Crutchfield, Adams, Morgan, Cheyenne Barrier, Caleigh Evans and Ashlyn Chumley – the Lady Jackets return a number of players who have gained a lot of playing experience and fell just short of winning the district championship. Those players include the team’s setter, Milburn, outside hitters Laura Crutchfield, Alex Gililland and Karigan Smith, and middle hitters Lauren Smiley and Sutterlin, to name a few. “Woodford volleyball is on the upswing,” said Bottom. “From this year’s players, we will be returning eight of our fourteen, and six of those players saw significant playing time this season. While we will be a young team next season, we have a lot of potential to achieve some really big things.”

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