• Bill Caine, Woodford Sun Sports

Volleyball advances to district finals

FRESHMAN HOPE BAKER makes a bump pass in the district opener while Laura Crutchfeld and Allison Birch look on. (Photo by Bill Caine)

The Woodford County High School volleyball team advanced to the District 41 finals by defeating Frankfort 3-0 Tuesday night. The Jackets came into the game on a five-game winning streak to finish the season. Woodford County is hosting both the district and regional tournaments this season. The Lady Panthers were competing in district play for the first time for this matchup. "I'm really enjoying this experience," said freshman Hope Baker. "I came into the gym nervous tonight but I know how hard we have worked and we have grown so much as a team and that growth is what will hopefully carry us far in these postseason matches." In the first set, the Jackets went on long runs to score their points. Freshman Riley Dawkins served four straight points and that was followed up by six straight by Baker. Laura Crutchfield played great and made a pair of kills to put the set out of reach. Junior Anna Holt served out the match and the Lady Jackets were rolling. "This is my first district tournament," said Dawkins. "We have become so much closer as a team and we want to do well and get a chance to do well at regions. There is a lot of hard work that has led us to this point. I am excited so see where it goes." In the second set, senior Lauren Smiley served the first seven points of the set. One interesting moment in the second set was when a Lady Panther player kicked a ball that was served into her court. The Lady Jackets kept the pressure on the Panthers and they had no answer for the Jacket offense. Victoria Kupets served out the remainder of the set and the Jackets were a set away from heading to the district finals. In the third and final set, Crutchfield served six straight points to bring the Jacket lead to 9-3. After Frankfort stopped the run the Jackets stormed right back by stopping the Panthers service attempt. Baker came onto the court and served 12 straight points before finally being stopped when she served the ball into the net. The Jackets clinched the win on a Panther serve that did not clear the net and celebration was on. "We are such a young team with only one senior and so far spread out in age and we figured out that the more we hang out together the closer we become," said sophomore Caroline Miller. "On the court, we are all the same age and all the same skill. We want this for each other and it has made us a much tougher team."

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