Edmonson Voice Sports Staff
story and photos
You know you're going to get your money's worth when you watch an Edmonson County vs. Trinity volleyball game, so when the stakes are high and the emotions are racing, as they were in last night's District 12 Championship Final, you'd better buckle up.
A repeat of the last several years, the Lady Cats faced Whitesville-Trinity in Butler County for last night's final and as you'd expect, it took all five sets of gut-wrenching, 110%, leave-it-all-on-the-floor volleyball, but Trinity eventually came out on top, defeating the Lady Cats 3-2, claiming their 6th title in a row.
Edmonson County got off to a sluggish start in set one, allowing Trinity to rack up a couple of 4-0 runs that would be the difference for a 25-14 win.
The Lady Cats adjusted during the second set and were able to fight off the hard-hitting kills from Trinity. The score never became more than a two-point differential, and Edmonson County bounced back with a win, 25-23.
Edmonson County seemed poised for a set three win, getting things started with blistering 9-1 lead, but an amazing 14-2 run by Trinity quickly shifted the momentum, forcing the Lady Cats on their heels. Trinity went on another run of 8-3 and extended their lead to 23-15. The Lady Cats pushed back with a run of their own, but Trinity remained in control and won 25-21, gaining a 2-1 game lead.
Set four stayed neck and neck the entire route as each team kept throwing punch after punch against the other, diving out of bounds, into the stands, and laying it on the line. Coming off an errant Lady Cat serve, Trinity had the Lady Cats on their final ropes at Trinty's game point at 24-22, but a bad return from the Lady Raiders landed the ball on their side of the net and a point for Edmonson County. Trinity still had game point at 24-23.
After an EC serve from Shasta Smith, Trinity bounced it around and back over but Mikayla Lindsey was right at the net and was able to swat it just out of reach from the Lady Raiders for the 24-24 tie.
Trinity was set for the kill on the next play, but in a split second, Edmonson slammed the ball on a fantastic block, Trinity smacked it back hard at the net, but Mikayla Lindsey stuffed it over as it bounced on Trinity's side for the Lady Cat 25-24 lead. Trinity had to call timeout to reset as the Edmonson County fans exploded to their feet.
Emma Woodcock dug out the next Trinity ball but it bounced out of bounds in spite of her amazing effort and Trinity had tied it at 25 all. An illegal hit from the Lady Raiders gave the Lady Cats the lead at 26-25.
Trinity came right back with a kill for a 26-26 tie. The next Trinity serve was passed by Shasta Smith, set by Sierra Kenney, and smashed by Megan Dockery, despite getting blocked by Trinity. Dockery was able to recover and send the blocked ball sailing on Trinity's side as the Lady Cats regained the lead at 27-26, preparing for game point. Trinity batted Dina Hollis' serve out of bounds and the Lady Cats stayed alive with a 28-26 set win, tying the game at 2-2 and forcing set five.
Unfortunately for the Lady Cats, Trinity was in control of set five from the very beginning, and whatever magic the Lady Cats had mustered up in set four seemed to be gone as Trinity went on to win the set 15-6, the game, 3-2, and the District 12 Title for the sixth year in a row.
Head Coach Haley Garmon was still very positive after the game.
"Yes, we lost this, but we've still got next week, we've got region, and we're ranked number two," she said. "We played a little lazy toward the end. We've got to come out strong in the beginning, but we've got to finish strong, too."
Garmon said her team has no reason to be down in spite of the loss, and that while many doubters expected the team to struggle, the Lady Cats have accomplished much of what Garmon has expected all year long.
"This is exactly where I'd thought we'd be," she said. "Of course, you want to win this game here, but what we've done, the 24 sets in a row, the winning record? You know, I was told well, you've lost your whole team, what are you going to do? Well, last year I saw what I would have this year, and you see potential in girls. You know what girls are coach-able, and ones that will do whatever you tell them to make them better. But I'm giving them all the credit. When you tell them to do something, whether or not they think it's stupid, they do it. All the credit goes to them. They'll keep working hard and we'll be alright."
The draw for the Region 3 Tournament will be held on Saturday where the Lady Cats will learn their first round opponent and game time.
The WildcatsLive broadcast team carried the first ever live volleyball broadcast to a huge listening audience. They will carry all Lady Cat games in the Regional Tournament, which will be held at Butler County High School next week.