• Bill Caine, Woodford Sun Sports Editor

Lady Jackets win district championship in five set thriller

The Woodford County High School volleyball team won the district championship in a five set thriller over Western Hills. The match was terrific from start to finish. Both student sections chanted back-and-forth throughout the contest. WCHS Coach Meghan Bottom said she was proud of her team for fighting the entire game. "They believed in ourselves tonight," said Bottom. "They believed in each other, and they knew it would take all of them to win this one. They fought as a team, and I am pleased with the effort. Kudos to Western Hills for playing a heck of a match tonight. They were scrappy, and they dug our harder hits and kept us on our toes. This win was the perfect way for us to leave the district." Woodford will be joining the 30th district in 2019 along with Anderson County, Collins, Shelby County and Spencer County. The Lady Jackets jumped out to a 17-8 lead in the first set that forced a pair of timeouts by the Lady Wolverines. Woodford controlled the points with crisp passing and finished at the net. The Lady Jackets won the first set 25-13. "It was a great feeling to play well tonight," said WCHS Sophomore Piper McCoun. 'You know everyone will bring their best in the district tournament, so you have to be ready and weather their storm. It's always great to win, but when we can come to Frankfort and get it done, it's an awesome feeling. This is a team that fights for each other, and tonight we fought hard." In the second set, The Lady Wolverines took an 8-5 lead which forced Bottom so her team could regroup. The Lady Jackets rallied back and took an 18-15 lead with scrappy play by Hope Baker and Anna Holt. Western Hills came storming back and tied the game 24-24. After some incredibly long points, the Lady Wolverines eventually won the set 30-28. "Overall I would say this was one of our better-played games of the year," said Holt. "We stuck together when things went wrong, and I like how aggressive we played. There are times when nervous energy takes over, but we still have to be smart and aggressive at the same time. We talk a lot on the floor and try to be ready for everything that comes our way." The Lady Jackets won the third set 25-18 and the Lady Wolverines won the fourth 25-22 to force a fifth set. The crowd noise was deafening at times as both sides attempted to fire up their teams. The Lady Jackets took a 6-1 lead to open the final set with four straight service points by Evelyn Milburn. The Woodford lead grew to 10-2 after a pair of kills by Holt and Laura Crutchfield. Western Hills cut the deficit to 12-8, but Woodford closed out the match and the celebration began. "We took their punches and kept coming," said Milburn. "They pushed us hard, and we had to earn everything that we got tonight. Nothing comes easy in this game, and so I feel like our work paid off. Winning a five-set match always feels better than a blow out because we know how hard it was and there is a feeling of satisfaction after." Regional game coverage in next week’s Woodford Sun.

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