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CRESTWOOD--- It shouldn’t have been any surprise that the top two teams in the eighth region would be playing for the district crown.
Both North Oldham and Oldham County dropped just one game each in district play all season. The Lady Mustangs were the Lady Colonels’ lone loss. In the 31st district championship at South Oldham, North Oldham made it two.
In a tight match, the Lady Mustangs hung on to win the first set 25-22, then held off Oldham County 25-21 to win in two sets tonight.
“Our team showed their true grit by not being willing to lay down, both last night and tonight,” coach Brian Jones said. “We’re down tonight early in the match, they stuck their feet in the ground and said it’s time to get to work and that’s what they did.”
The first set was knotted 8-8, when Oldham County made the first move with a five-point rally behind the serving of senior Evann Dickerson, prompting Jones to call timeout to regroup his squad. Behind tournament MVP Madison Tinder, North Oldham battled to within two points, 17-15, resulting in Lady Colonels coach Callaway Mefford calling a timeout of her own.
Inspired by a junior Amanda Marques kill, North rallied behind Heather Gleen serves to go up 21-19, prompting another Oldham timeout. The teams exchanged points the rest of the set with North coming out on top 25-22.
“All season we’ve had a lot of heart and we’ve had a lot of fight,” Oldham County coach Callaway Mefford said. “Our weakness has been we get up eight or nine points, and we slowly let them fight back. We’re going to focus on that this next week and keep fighting.”
The second set started out all Oldham County, as the Lady Colonels jumped to a 7-1 lead behind the serving of senior Jordan Wiese, hinting fans who had packed the stands would be treated to a third set tie-breaker. The teams exchanged points until Jones had seen enough, calling timeout at 13-6 to stop the bleeding. Oldham County allowed North to chip away at the lead, and another Marques kill cut the Lady Colonels’ lead to four. At 19-15, Oldham County called its first timeout.
North continued to edge closer, ultimately tying the set at 20, resulting in another Oldham timeout. The teams see-sawed back and forth the rest of the contest, with North grabbing the momentum and winning 25-21.
“We will see these guys again, and we’ll probably see them in the final of the region,” Jones said.
Oldham County breezed past Trimble County in two sets in the semi-finals on Tuesday night, while North Oldham endured a fierce three set battle with South Oldham, ultimately outlasting the Lady Dragons 33-31 to determine the district final match up. Both the Lady Mustangs and Lady Colonels will both play in next week’s regional tournament, with times and opponents to be announced.
“It’s not the end of the road,” Mefford said. “We have something bigger ahead of us, and our goal is to ultimately go to state, so we’re looking forward to next week.”
Story by Eric Ballerstedt, special to The Oldham Era and Jason Stamm, sports editor, The Oldham Era
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