By Chris Parsons / Sports Editor
LOUISVILLE — All good things must come to an end and such was the fact Friday for the Whitley County Lady Colonels (32-8) volleyball team.
Although the Lady Colonels’ stay in the KHSAA State Volleyball Tournament was a short one, head coach David Halcomb said was he was proud of his squad and was adamant that Friday’s 3-0 (25-11, 25-9 and 25-8) loss to McCracken County (32-8) would not define his team’s season.
“We accomplished every single goal that we set for our team this season, so this really was icing on the cake for our kids,” Halcomb said. “We knew what we were up against coming up here facing this team, but our kids fought hard and they never quit.
“I wish we could have played this team closer, but this is not going to determine what these young ladies are,” he added. “The effort this team gave all season and the unity they displayed in getting here is what will determine what these kids are in life.”
Friday’s match was the first time the Lady Colonels had ever stepped foot on the floor for state tournament play and it showed early.
McCracken County jumped ahead 6-0 to start the match and never looked back, cruising to the 25-11 win. The Lady Mustangs dominated, tallying 14 kills (six of which came via Jasmine Bennet), compared to two by the Lady Colonels, in the opening set.
McCracken County opened the second set much like it ended the first, with an early run, but the Lady Colonels eventually settled down and trimmed the lead to two points at 7-5.
The momentum didn’t last long though as the Lady Mustangs scored five straight service points on three separate occasions to cruise to the 25-9 victory.
Whitley County looked poised to rebound in the third set, holding things close early on, but once again, the momentum didn’t last. The Lady Mustangs rattled off 11 straight points on the serve of Bennett, stretching what was a one-point lead into a 16-4 margin.
Halcomb’s squad cut the gap by two points before McCracken County was at it again, this time rallying for eight straight points to make the score 24-6. Whitley County prolonged things with two points late, but eventually fell, 25-8, to end their state tournament appearance.
The season was a record-breaking one for Whitley County in the win column, racking up 32 wins on the season, which was tops in the 13th Region.
In addition to the win total, the Lady Colonels were unbeaten in district play (6-0) and 13-5 against regional foes, en route to the 51st District and 13th Region Championships.
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