Lincoln volleyball sweeps Garrard – again

Published 2:35 pm Thursday, September 27, 2018

LANCASTER — Sure, the Lincoln County volleyball team was not playing for the home court advantage in the district tournament.

Garrard County had that locked up by the KHSAA rotation of host schools for postseason play.

The Lady Patriots weren’t even playing for the top seed in the district, with no team threatening their 6-1 record in the 45th District going into Monday’s game at Garrard.

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However, it was evident that Lincoln was in it to win it in its final district game as the Lady Patriots completed a perfect regular-season run through the 45th District with another sweep of the Garrard Lady Lions 25-20, 25-11, 25-17.

Lincoln, which has scored 13 of its 15 wins in shutouts, gave up only one set in all of its seven district games played this season. Garrard (8-16, 1-4 district) got that one set on Lincoln in a 2-1 loss on Sept. 8.

Despite Lincoln’s ease of victory against district foes this season, coach Samantha Torres was concerned with the Lady Patriots staying on top of their game in Monday’s rematch.

“We saw them in a tournament and they played really well and they’ve been getting stronger every time we’ve seen them. So we prepared really well coming into it, knowing that it was going to be tough,” she said. “We came into it not underestimating Garrard.”

The Lady Patriots (15-4, 7-0) had to play from behind in two of the three sets played in the best of five match, including the first set where bad serving plagued both teams.

“That was rough to watch,” Torres said. “Definitely one thing that we are working on is staying consistent from start to finish. I feel like we looked a little bit different in each of the sets tonight. But, when you are as consistent as we are, it helps. It averages out and that carried us through.”

Lincoln trailed 16-11 in the first set before making a run on Garrard. The Lady Patriots rolled off seven straight points behind the service of Peyton Griffin to go up 18-16.

The score would be deadlocked at 18-18 and 19-19, but Lincoln never gave up the lead. Sarah Beth Grimes took over service with Lincoln up 24-20 and Savannah Smith slammed home the win with a kill, one of six kills for the Lady Pat senior.

Lincoln never trailed in the second set, leading by as many as 15 points before earning the 24-11 win.

Jasmine Whited spoiled a Garrard rally effort in the third set, stepping behind the line to serve and Lincoln scoring nine straight points behind her serves to turn a 13-13 tie into a 22-13 Lady Pat lead.

The Lady Pats went on to build a 24-17 lead in the third set before the Lady Lions won a sideout. But the sideout didn’t delay the Lincoln victory celebration for long, with the first serve going long to end the match.

While Garrard stuck with its same six players on serves throughout the match, Torres mixed up her rotation a few times during the match. The Lincoln mentor says she doesn’t have any problem running in different players.

“That’s the thing with my bench and stuff. We work on making sure everyone is as consistent as possible even if they aren’t the ones that actually go in and serve,” she said. “We seem to always have somebody last minute that has to go in and serve for somebody because there’s an injury or there’s a sickness or someone’s just struggling that day. They usually get called on more to serve then, so they’ve got to be ready to go.”

Statistically, Griffin and Smith both put up numbers in three areas. Griffin finished with three aces, three kills and four assists and Smith had two aces, six kills and two blocks.

Taryn Johnson had five kills in the win, Whited had 13 assists and Kasie Mullins had one block.