Lady Hawks advance to region play

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JOSH CLAYWELL/ Landmark News Service

Behind the powerful hitting of senior Kayla McFee, the Green County Lady Dragons spiked their way to their ninth straight district championship.
McFee had 10 of Green County’s 26 total kills as the Lady Dragons knocked off tournament host LaRue County, 25-10, 25-16 in the 18th District Volleyball Tournament championship Tuesday in Hodgenville.
“We were just focused,” McFee said. “We talked before the game and we said we weren’t going to let any passes come back over the net without making it hard to get back over. We set a goal at practice, saying that our blockers will get up there and block the ball.”
The tandem of McFee and freshman Kali Hedgespeth made it difficult for the Lady Hawks to get much of anything going.
Green County (22-10) was in firm control the entire night, never letting the Lady Hawks get in rhythm thanks to the play of McFee.
Green County jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the first set as Hedgespeth had three kills and McFee had one. The lead swelled to 19-8 as the Lady Dragons continued to have their way at the net.
Lady Hawks coach Ben Schell chalked his team’s slow start up to inexperience - most of his players hadn’t played in a district title match until Tuesday.
“They’ve never had that kind of pressure on them before,” he said. “Green came out from the beginning just firing on all cylinders. I told them against a team like that, you’ve got to get on them early. We got behind, and they served the ball well. We had some trouble receiving the ball.”
Both teams struggled at the beginning of the second set.
The teams exchanged the game’s first 16 points behind a slew of unforced errors and a string of six kills - three for each team. The teams were tied six times during that stretch.
Givens called a timeout after McFee had a kill to give the Lady Dragons a 9-8 lead. Green County responded by scoring 16 of the final 25 points to secure the win.
McFee had four kills to help the Lady Dragons pull away.
“We kept it close,” Schell said. “We missed a couple of serves then Green started to pull ahead a little bit and the girls started getting frustrated again. We were getting hands on the ball, but we weren’t getting any blocks. The ball was just coming over and landing on our side. We got mixed up a little bit a couple of times and left a couple of holes for them.”
Green County, which had lost three straight entering the district tournament, has beaten LaRue County six straight years in the district championship.
“It feels pretty good considering LaRue is our big rival and it was on their home court,” said McFee, who was named to the All-District team along with senior Julie Church. “It was tough this time because we thought since it was their home court and it was district that they were going to come out slamming the ball. And it’s always hard to beat a team three times, but we put our minds to it and we went out and won.”
Sophomore Ivy Brown, who was named to the All-District and All-Tournament teams along with junior Haley Holt, paced LaRue County with three kills, three digs and one block. Holt added three digs, two blocks and two kills, while junior Miranda Hornback chipped in with three kills.
Both teams advance to the 5th Region Tournament, which is at Nelson County. The Lady Hawks played Central Hardin at 6 p.m. Tuesday.