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Touted as the class of the 29th district for the better part of the season, the North Oldham Mustangs made it official Wednesday night, ousting Oldham County 3-0 to claim the regular season championship, their second in as many years.
More impressive than the win though was the way in which they performed, overpowering the Colonels at times and withstanding crucial runs in others.
The first two games showcased both facets. In the opener, Oldham County gave North all they could handle, going blow for blow with the Mustangs for the better part of the game before falling 23-25.
The second game, however, was the exact opposite as the Colonels stumbled early and never recovered, falling 16-25.
The third and final game showed North Oldham's resolve as the Mustangs had their hands full from the opening serve. After jumping out to a quick 10-3 lead, the Mustands fell victim to a furious Oldham County rally that ttilted the lead back in OC's favor 12-11.
That lead changed hands seven more times over the next 13 points, but North had the final laugh, edging OC 25-22 to claim the game and match.
"I think (fighting through) shows how much we didn't want to give up," senior Madison Tinder said, "and it shows how hard we worked in practice and in the offseason to come out here and prove that we should be No. 1."
And that's exactly what they did. After a long season, having that opportunity felt good, senior Amanda Marques added.
"This is the most amazing feeling," she said. "This was our last year and our last opportunity to do this. It's so much better to be in first."
For the Colonels though, the game was another frustrating finish in back-to-back district matches.
"We've managed to play both North and South tough but just come out on the losing end," coach Vince McDonough said. "Our kids are fighting hard in practice so I thought we came in pretty well prepared. But we just didn't play well in the stretches that we needed to play well. Our problem all season has been that around the 20 point mark, we tend to make some errors that we don't need to make."
In district tournament play, the Mustangs will take on No. 4 seed Trimble County, a team they beat 3-0 (25-19, 25-14, 25-19) on Sept. 11, while South Oldham and Oldham County will meet in the other match after earning the second and third seeds, respectively.
All three teams will get one big final test in the Jefferson County Invitational Volleyball Tournament this weekend.