The Allen County-Scottsville Lady Patriots downed the Monroe County Lady Falcons 3-0 (25-16, 25-20, 25-15) to claim the 2017 District 15 tournament title Tuesday night at Glasgow High School. The title marked the first time in the 17-year history of the volleyball program that a Lady Patriot team has won the district tournament.
AC-S took the crown behind a game plan centered around a strong start.
“Before the game, we talked about just playing our game and coming out strong like usual,” first-year coach Sarah Fisher explained. “The team played well together, they didn't seem nervous. They were ready to take care of business. We had great attack at the net and great comradery on the court.”
In the first set, the Lady Patriots trailed once early in the round. However, a kill from Adrianna Webb gave her team a 5-4 lead. An ace by Macy Ward, a Webb kill, and a winning return from Ward helped the Lady Patriots complete a 9-0 run to take an 11-4 lead. AC-S stretched the lead to 10, 18-8, following a kill from Chloe Cook off a textbook set from Meg Foster. Back-to-back Kalee Baldwin kill shots propelled AC-S to a 21-13 advantage. Monroe County pulled to within six, 22-16, before AC-S won the final three set points.
“Winning the first set was the most crucial part of the game,” Fisher added. “Whoever took the first set automatically had the upper hand.”
Monroe County---District 15 champions the previous five years---opened the second set with a 4-0 run, setting the stage for a critical match moment for AC-S.
“The girls did really well staying calm and being confident in the fact that they could come back and win,” Fisher said. “That moment was crucial, and I'm proud of the way they handled it.”
The Lady Patriots remained focus and gradually sliced into the Lady Falcons’ lead. Kills by Nichole Carver and Chloe Cook evened the set at eight. Monroe County responded with two consecutive points only to see AC-S counter. With the score tied at 12, a Carver kill gave the Lady Patriots the lead---a lead that would not be relinquished. Sets by Foster and Baylea Cook and kills from Baldwin, Webb, and Chloe Cook enabled AC-S to close the set with a 13-8 run to win, 25-20.
The Lady Patriots never trailed in the third set. After building a 10-2 lead, AC-S watched as the Lady Falcons battled back, pulling within two, 17-15. Eying the district crown, the Lady Patriots turned up their game. Strong serving off the hands of Webb, control of the net by Foster, Baldwin, and Chloe Cook, and offensive kills by Baldwin enabled AC-S to finish with an 8-0 run to win, 25-15.
The championship is a testament to the dedication of this year’s team---a team led by seniors Nicole Carver, Baylea Cook, and Adrianna Webb.
“Our seniors have become a big presence on the court,” Fisher noted. “They have built relationships with each other and the other players on the court and that has been very powerful for us.”
The tournament title ended several years of frustration. AC-S fell short in the District championship game in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. The championship also allows the Lady Patriots to enter regional play with a winning confidence.
“No matter who we play, we have to play our game,” Fisher pointed out. “We have to believe in ourselves and in our teammates and be confident in our abilities.”
Four Lady Patrios received honors following the championship. Senior Adrianna Webb was named to the All-District Academic Team. Senior Baylea Cook, junior Kalee Baldwin, and sophomore Meg Foster were named to the All-Tournament team.
AC-S (16-6) will play a district runner-up in the opening round of the eight-team Region 4 tournament. Possible opponents at this time are District 13 runner-up Franklin-Simpson (13-13) or District 16 runner-up Russell County (16-12). Greenwood (30-2) faces South Warren (18-18) in the District 14 title game Thursday. The Region 4 pairings will be determined Saturday with first round action scheduled for Monday and Tuesday at Warren East.