Lady Panthers net 2nd at ‘All A’ regional

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By The Staff


CCHS Correspondent

Even against the most difficult teams in the area, the Carroll County Lady Panther volleyball players put on their best game and find ways to improve.

Building on a tough loss to North Oldham at home Tuesday, Sept. 2, the CCHS varsity team regrouped to beat Owen County on Sept. 3, and then take second place in the regional “All A” tournament Sept. 6 at Henry County.

The Lady Panthers beat Williamstown in a two-game match, 25-17 and 25-13, then went on to smash  Gallatin County 25-8 and 25-17. 

In the championship game against Henry County, the Panthers worked hard but fell in the first game 19-25.  They went into overtime in game two, but lost the close match 25-27. The Henry County Wildcats took the championship. Both teams advance to district Class A tournament action Oct. 10-11.

Tough North Oldham takes

JV, varsity

Back on Sept. 2, the Panthers hosted North Oldham, last year’s district champion and the winner of this year’s Pulaski County tournament.

Known for its well-organized offense, North challenged Carroll to take the game to a new level.

North’s strong attacking shocked Carroll’s young junior varsity team.  Carroll played hard, but lost 10-21 and 7-21. Freshmen Lakayla Clay got a block against a hard attack.

Carroll’s varsity knew what to expect from North, correctly anticipated strong attacks and tried to block them. Senior Marisa Ruckel and sophomore Kyndal Curry led the Panthers in blocks, contributing three each. Junior Valerie White blocked two attacks, while juniors Brooke Boles and Katerina Woods each had one block.

Still, North Oldham kept the fire hot and kept Carroll’s back row digging, diving and scrambling.

The Lady Panthers served well, with an accuracy of 26 for 27; White and Ruckel each contributed an ace. Carroll also logged 34 for 39 receives. Again, White led

the team, eight for eight; junior Katerina Woods followed with seven for eight.

The match against North Oldham began with a smashing attack by Woods. But North quickly put its game on, and soon it was cleverly positioning the ball off Carroll’s blocks and dinking the ball into Carroll’s area. Carroll was 24 for 41 in digs, led by Curry at nine for 12, and White, four for six.

Faced with so much attacking from North, the Panthers weren’t able to do as much attacking as they usually do. The Lady Panthers were only 16 for 21 in the attack column, with one kill by White.

The girls never gave up, but nonetheless fell to North Oldham 15-25 and 11-25.

Owen County

puts up a fight

The next night, Owen County took out the freshmen and junior varsity teams, but that just added fuel to the varsity team’s fire.

The girls started out strong, and stayed strong throughout the match. White started with six solid serves that got the Panthers off to a good lead. Owen rallied to tie the game at 7. Carroll’s Coach Wilbert Lowe III called a quick timeout to get the girls back in line. It was a good call.

Curry ran the offense with 23 for 24 sets; Woods smashed the ball over the net with hard attacks, finishing with 20 for 21 and three kills.

White led the team in passing, with a perfect 16 for 16. In serving, Curry got 11 for 11 with one ace; Ruckel served 10 for 11 with two aces.

It took just two games for the Panthers to win the match, outscoring Owen 25-11 and 25-15. 

As a team, Carroll logged seven for eight digs, 34 for 42 attacks, and 20 for 23 receiving.

“After a hard fight with North the night before, the Lady Panthers played well and pulled together when they needed it,” Lowe said. “This is a great bunch of girls with a lot of talent.”

Overall, Junior Brooke Boles said she believes the team “started the season off strong. We’ve faced a few tough teams, but we’ve pulled together and worked hard.”

“I think we work well together,” sophomore Jill Butcher said.