Darren Doyle, story and photos
The Lady Cats were defeated in a heartbreaking loss by the Trinity Lady Raiders in four sets in a best-out-of-five match during last night's District 12 championship game, held at Whitesville Trinity. ECHS came out looking sharp, but with 12 ties and 7 lead changes, fans in attendance knew they were in for a hard-fought and scrappy battle to the finish.
The first set was nothing but a series of back-and-forth digging and diving, while the score stayed either tied or one point apart until EC took a timeout as Trinity took a 14-12 lead. The Lady Cats clawed their way back with a two point lead at 16-14 and kept it , finishing on a 6-3 run to end the first set with the win 25-21.
The second and third sets saw a huge momentum shift as Trinity took control of the pace and of the game. The Lady Cats seemed out of sorts, lacked communication, and made several mental mistakes as they never had a lead in neither set 2 nor 3. Trinity won both sets with the same score of 25-18 for each set.
The fourth set looked much more like the first, but with EC scoring the first point and taking their first lead since they won the first set, which at the time, seemed like days ago.
It remained a fight-to-the-death pace until Trinity called timeout as the Lady Cats took a 20-18 lead. Trinity tied the score at 20-20 but The Lady Cats answered by scoring the next two with a 22-20 lead. Trinity bounced back with two more, tying the game 22 all as Coach Brad Sullivan called a timeout.
Trinity was simply the better team in this match as they were able to push through and outscore the Lady Cats 4-2 to end the set at 26-24, the game 3-1, and the 12th District Championship.
The Lady Cats were obviously down, but soon began to start thinking positive again.
"Even though we came short tonight, I have a full heart because I know we've had such a successful season," said Senior Laney Meredith.
"We still have games left and we're still a family, no matter what," said Senior team captain MaryChris Waddell. "I love these girls so much and I wouldn't want to lose with anybody else."
Senior Madison Kemble said it was a tough loss but she was proud of her team. "We worked hard, we worked together, we gave it our all," she said. "In the end that's all you can really ask for, but we're not done, yet. We still have next week to look forward to."
The good news is that the Lady Cats' season isn't over. By winning the first district tournament game, they will advance to the Region 3 tournament that will be hosted at Edmonson County High School beginning Monday night, October 26.
"It's all water under the bridge now," said Senior Morgan Miller. "We have to focus on our next goal, which is going far in the regional tournament."
Senior Morgan Skaggs said much of the same. "We can't dwell on the loss," she said. "We have Region next week and our season isn't over."
"It's hard to beat any team five times in a row, but we got them (Trinity) for four," said Senior Elizabeth Woodcock. "We have Region next week and I'm pumped for that."
"We're going to come in next week for Region and show everybody what we're made of," said sophomore Mikayla Lindsey.
MaryChris Waddell finished her thoughts by saying, "Now it's time to pick our heads up and look forward to the Region.
The Lady Cats are now 24-10 on the year. They are scheduled to play Ohio County in the second game of the tourney at ECHS on Monday night at 7:30PM. The first game between Daviess County and Meade County is scheduled for Monday at 6PM.