Lady Lions too much for South
By Brian Smith, Sports Editor, [email protected]
For the second consecutive season, South Central made a trip to the sectional championship. Playing on its home court, South Central wasn’t able to hold off Rock Creek Academy’s talented Ligia
Williams, falling 25-10, 25-15, 25-17 Saturday night in the Class 1A South Central Sectional final.
“We’ve come a long way,” said South Central coach Amanda Sims. “The last part of our season was rough, and the girls made adjustments. They kept their heads up and came into the sectional knowing we wanted to be in the final. Our hope was to be holding the trophy, but they knew we had just as good of chance as anyone else to get here and take a shot at (Rock Creek).”
The first ball up was won by South Creek on a Kendall Miller spike, setting up an electrifying start between both squads. Shots went back and forth with Williams getting up for attacks, while South Central countered with Alyssa Pumphrey, Makaylie Patterson and Kaylee Logsdon putting in winners.
A Kaitlyn Harl kill put South Central up 8-7 then another put the score at 9-all. From there in game one, Rock Creek Academy went off on a 16-2 scoring outburst to take the opening set.
Once Williams returned to the front row, she dominated be it with blocks or putting in winners offensively.
‘“It’s hard to defend when (Williams) in the front row and it’s something you can’t really practice for because we only see it one time during the season,” said Sims. “It’s about us trying to figure out where we are going to cover and get moving. It took too long to figure that out. At one point they dug one ball and we started to get in the right positions, but it comes so quick. One of our weaknesses is moving quick.”
The path of the second game looked similar to the first. Aces from Hailey Kiper and Brooklyn Lewis, along with attacks from Miller and Logsdon, put South Central up 12-8.
The final half of the game began with Rock Creek Academy’s Leah Thompson sending a pass to a deep open spot. It kicked off a lengthy 16-3 run to go to the third game up 2-0.
“We started all three games strong, and we hung with them,” said Sims. “We hit a road block each time and got in trouble not getting the first ball up. Rock Creek doesn’t make a lot of errors. One thing we worked on this season is not relying on the other team to make errors. We have to win our points.”
Williams ended the game with 18 kills, while Thompson had six.
The third game saw an 11-all score go to 21-13 after a Rock Creek burst. South Central showed some life late with a kill from Kendall Kiper and a Logsdon block. Miller added a block to get South Central within six, 23-17, but South Central got no closer.
“The few swings we did take we took well,” said Sims. “We talked about hitting hard into the block and, if you weren’t, you had to do something positive with the ball. Kendal Kiper went down the line a few times. This morning against Lanesville, they were smart about going around the block. In this one, it was a little more intimidating.”
Logsdon ended with three kills, while Kendall Kiper, Harl, Pumphrey and Miller had two apiece. Annabelle Faith had eight digs.
South Central ended the season with a 9-15 record.
“We love our seniors,” said Sims. “I think that helped push the team as a whole to finish out strong. Hopefully, watching the seniors through this season will give a good role model for our younger players. When we swing, we swing hard. I had not been able to get these girls to swing hard the previous two years. This year, you’d get them in some games and Kaylee, Kendall, Kaitlyn, Alyssa, they would hit hard. It’s getting them to do that every time.”
Semi-final: South Central 3, Lanesville 1
South Central avenged a regular season loss to rival Lanesville in the Class 1A South Central Sectional semi-final Saturday with a 25-23, 13-25, 25-22, 25-21 victory.
With eight kills apiece for South Central were Alyssa Pumphrey, Kaylee Logsdon and Kendall Miller. Teammate Makaylie Patterson contributed three.
Offense for Lanesville was paced by Meredith Hasken’s seven kills while Alley Roadcap pitched in five.
Lanesville found success on the service line with 11 team aces, led by three via Linzie Wernert. Sarina Belden and Hasken had two apiece. Belden also had 17 assists. South Central’s Brooklyn Lewis notched four aces and eight assists. Annabelle Faith put up 18 assists for the Lady Rebels as well.
Defensively, South Central’s Hailey Kiper had 23 digs while Pumphrey registered 20.
Lanesville ended its season with a 14-14 record.
“We hit around the blocks really well,” said South Central coach Amanda Sims. “We were able to put the ball down. It was a well-rounded game. They passed well. We had some serving issues, but they went out and found the holes.”