45TH DISTRICT CHAMPS: Lady Pat VB team beats Boyle to win first district title since 2012

Published 1:26 pm Friday, October 12, 2018

STANFORD — The Lincoln County High School volleyball team is back on top of the district.

It wasn’t easy, but Lincoln walked off its home court with its undefeated 45th District record still intact after beating Boyle County 3-0 in the 45th District Tournament championship match Tuesday night at LCHS.

The Lady Patriots received all they could handle from Boyle in the title match but held on to beat the Lady Rebels 25-13, 25-23, 25-20 and complete a season sweep of district opponents and claim their first 45th District tourney title since 2012.

“We knew it would be tough, but we knew we could do it,” Lincoln coach Samantha Torres said. “It feels really good to win the title. All the work we’ve put in the last three years has finally paid off. I’m so proud of this team.”

Boyle County coach Andrea Craig said Lincoln’s varsity experience proved to be the biggest difference in the match.

“I know that these girls (Lady Patriots) have been playing together a long time and have been in the varsity lineup since they were sophomores,” she said. “They have experience underneath their belt of playing in these type situations before and fighting hard. We are young. We are seniors, sophomores and freshmen – no juniors. We lack a lot of experience at the varsity level.”

That inexperience did not keep Boyle from playing their hearts out on the floor.

”I could not be more proud of the way that my players played tonight,” Craig said. “I think that they went out there and played to the best of their ability and that’s all you can ask as a coach.”

Lincoln (22-7) never trailed in game one, opening on a 5-1 run and closing on an 8-2 run to post a 25-13 win.

Game two was a much closer battle, with six ties and four lead changes before Lincoln closed out the 25-23 win with a kill from Savanna Smith.

Lincoln’s senior setter Jasmine Whited exited the floor in game two, going out with an injured left thigh.

Torres said Whited’s exit seemed to fire up Boyle County.

“It was a big momentum change that happened after Jasmine got hurt. Boyle had all the momentum going their way, so we had to fight back a little bit harder.”

The Lincoln mentor added that the injury bolstered the Lady Patriots’ play as well.

“We did a lot of good things tonight. I feel really good about how we played,” Torres said. “One thing in particular that I liked came after Jasmine got hurt. Sarah Beth Grimes stepped up and played well as a setter in her place. She had never played setter much at the varsity level. And then everyone else rallied around her that second set and stepped up, too. We had a lot of good saves. And Kasie Mullins had a really nice block in that second set that shifted the momentum back our way.”

“Boyle had the momentum going their way but, in the end, it all worked out as we got momentum going back our way.”

The Lady Rebels (11-18) posted their biggest lead of the match in game three, jumping out to a 7-2 start. But Lincoln would quickly make up the difference, using a 9-3 scoring run to go on top to stay, 11-10. The Lady Patriots led by as many as seven points, 23-16, before claiming a 25-20 game three win and the tourney title.

“I think we came out in the first set a little bit nervous. We were a little shaky,” Craig said of her Lady Rebels. “With our main core being mostly underclassmen, they were so nervous and making so many mistakes. They just had to play that first set out and move on. And I like how they responded. They didn’t just lay down and take it. They played their best. They did the best that they could and played their hardest.”

Both Lincoln and Boyle move on to next week’s 12th Region Tournament, which to Torres’ delight, is being hosted by the Lady Patriots.

“I’m excited that we get to play at home,” she said. “We’re very comfy here. We haven’t lost a whole lot on this court at all the last two years. We just have a whole different level of confidence when we play at home.”

Taryn Johnson led Lincoln in Tuesday’s district final with 12 kills. She also had one ace. Savanna Smith finished with five kills and seven blocks and Peyton Griffin had four kills and one ace.

Jasmine Whited had 16 assists and Sarah Beth Grimes had six. Hannah Jacobs had two aces, Ashlyn Jarman had one ace and Kasie Mullins and Alyssa Salyers had one block each.

No team stats were available for Boyle.

45th District All-Tournament Team

Faith Breitenbach – Danville
Kacy Singleton – Garrard County
Sierra Dean, Jaelin Hunter – Boyle County
Peyton Griffin, Taryn Johnson, Savanna Smith – Lincoln County