Lady Cats win 3-2 (25-14, 25-16, 15-25, 24-26, 15-9)
Darren Doyle, story: Madison Doyle, photos:
The Edmonson County Lady Cat Volleyball team is headed to the District 12 Championship for the first time since 2017 after defeating the Grayson County Cougars 3-2 in 5 sets on Monday night. The win also guarantees their trip to the Region 3 Tournament next week, also the first time in five years.
After sweeping Grayson County at GCHS 3-0 in their last meeting, the Lady Cats knew they would have their hands full with the Lady Cougars seeking revenge, and especially since Grayson County would also be hosting the tournament.
Edmonson County established the tone early as they jumped out to a 7-1 lead, which forced the Lady Cougars into their first timeout. That timeout did little to change anything for Grayson County as Edmonson went on a 10-6 run, earning a 17-7 lead. The Lady Cats forced the Lady Cougars into their final timeout leading 19-12, but Edmonson County would only allow two more Grayson County points in the remainder of the set for a 25-14 set one victory.
The Lady Cats, led by the five seniors: Raven Cast, Whitney Davis, Alyssa Doyle, Kaylee Lindsey, and Rylee Laster, and junior Alivia Mabrey, kept the intensity up in the second set as well, getting out to another good start. The start was good enough to keep a comfortable lead, despite a couple of small runs from Grayson County. Edmonson went on to win the set 25-16 and grab a 2-0 lead.
While the Lady Cougars faced an uphill climb, they certainly weren't going away for set three, scoring the first point of the set, which was their first lead of the game at 1-0. They forced Edmonson County into their first timeout with a 7-3 lead and then again with a 16-7 Lady Cougar lead. Edmonson County cut the lead to four, but Grayson County went on a 6-0 run and took set three 25-15.
Set four would be the barn burner of the match, featuring six ties and three lead changes and runs for both teams. Edmonson County's biggest lead was at 18-13, but an 8-1 Grayson County run allowed them to take a 21-19 lead. A couple of calls that didn't go the way the Lady Cats wanted and tough play from the Lady Cougars resulted in a 26-24 set four win, setting up the final 15-point set five.
After Grayson County scored the first point, they would never lead again. They burned both timeouts by the time the score was 10-4 and they were unable to withstand the digs, kills, blocks from the Lady Cats as Edmonson went on to win 3-2 and ending the season from Grayson County.
"I am simply on cloud nine," said Head Coach Caitlin Caudill. "What these girls accomplished out here tonight is nothing short of amazing. We fought with grit, heart, and soul for every point we earned. Nothing has been handed to us this season, and I expect the same for tomorrow night in the championship game. If we play tomorrow night with the same intensity and determination, I have no doubt we can win."
Kaylee Lindsey led the team with kills (15), Whitney Davis had 9, Alyssa Doyle had 7, and Rylee Laster added 5. Davis led the team in digs with 44, Alivia Mabrey added 38, Doyle had 34, Cast had 33, Lindsey had 28, and Laster had 33. Lindsey also led in blocks (13), while Doyle and Davis added 5 each and Laster had 2.
Edmonson County is now 19-12 on the season and have won their last four matches. They will face a tough Whitesville Trinity team (25-7) on Tuesday night for the District 12 Championship at Grayson County at 6PM. The game will be streamed live on the Edmonson Voice.