Momentum carries Greenwood to second straight district title
Sometimes the score is not always indicative of how the game was played.
That was exactly the case on Thursday evening as Greenwood earned their second straight 14th District Volleyball Title with a 3-1 (25-22, 22-25, 25-14, 25-22) win over South Warren at Bowling Green High School.
Each teams took turns trading punches with one another during an aggressive match that had all the looks of turning into a five-set slugfest.
“It’s always a hard game against South [Warren]. They always really bring it, so it’s a lot of fun,” Greenwood senior setter Julia Kennedy said. “Once one team starts going on a run, they have all of the energy. It’s just really important that if you lose the point, you can bounce back.”
“I thought [South Warren] scrapped for every point and we scrapped for every point,” Greenwood head coach Allen Whittinghill said. “I felt like we had control of our own destiny, but we couldn’t keep it long enough. When we did, we ran up points and it was a lot of fun.”
Keeping the teams in the match more than the will to win a district championship, perhaps, was the momentum that lingered around BGHS Arena throughout the match.
“Volleyball is the ultimate momentum sport, so you can get run in one game and the next game is a complete battle to the end,” Whittinghill said. “I’ve seen games where each team blows each other out.”
After falling 25-22 in the first set, South Warren (22-10) used a 7-0 run to take a 12-5 lead in the second set. The Lady Gators, down 24-20, rallied to cut the deficit to 24-23 before the Lady Spartans were ultimately able to close out the set from there.
“I thought in the set we lost, we kept stopping their momentum and then giving it back to them. They would make a big kill or bang it off of our blocker,” Whittinghill said.
Greenwood raced out to a 16-5 lead in the third set on the way to a 25-14 victory.
South Warren trailed 17-14 in the fourth set but used a 7-1 run to take a 21-18 lead. Greenwood responded with a 7-1 run of its own to close out the set with a 25-22 win, sealing the match.
“We like to go quick with our offense, but South [Warren] adjusted. Their block was there,” Kennedy said. “We kind of back-tracked with some injuries, but it was really important to be aggressive and get the ball down.”
Swinging a hot arm all evening long, sophomore Katie Howard racked up 31 kills for Greenwood (32-5) while hitting at a blistering .439 clip. Howard also had 14 digs while Kennedy picked up 53 assists.
Erin Nerland led South Warren with 17 kills while Sydney Clayton dished out 35 assists.
With the appearance in the district title match, Greenwood and South Warren both advance to next week’s 4th Region Tournament at Franklin-Simpson. The 4th Region Tournament draw will be held on Saturday morning at 10:00 am CDT in the library of Franklin-Simpson High School.
South Warren won the Region 4 title last season, beating Greenwood in a five-set thriller in the regional finals at Warren East. The Lady Spartans advanced to the semifinal round of the State Volleyball Tournament before ultimately falling to Louisville Mercy Academy.
The pool for the 2018 4th Region Tournament is as follows:
- 13th District: Logan County (district champions) & Franklin-Simpson
- 14th District: Greenwood (district champions) & South Warren
- 15th District: Allen County-Scottsville (district champions) & Glasgow
- 16th District: Clinton County (district champions) & Russell County
Clay Manlove; @ctmanlove58