The Apollo volleyball team again made quick work of their opponent, taking down Meade County 3-2 (25-9, 25-8, 25-18) in the Region 3 semifinal.
With the win, the E-Gals (31-8) advance to the championship match for a chance to advance to the state tournament.
Apollo dominated the first two sets and jumped out to a 15-4 lead in the opening frame. Head coach MaryAnne Howard said getting an early lead was important for her team.
“Our girls came out fired up,” she said. “Getting a good start helps get any nervousness out and gets things rolling in the right direction. It helps our confidence tremendously.”
Howard said she was impressed with the performance against the Lady Waves (18-18), who won the region tournament a season ago.
“Meade County is a very good team,” she said. “They are a hard-serving and a great defensive team. I’m proud of the way we stepped up at the net tonight. I thought our blocking was great and our execution off our defense was good. Our girls really rallied and played well.”
The strong presence at the net helped the Lady Aces rack up points in the first two sets. They had numerous blocks and powerful spikes up front, and Natalie Ewing led the way.
“She really established herself at the net,” Howard said of Ewing. “That’s been a big key for us all year is making sure she and our other hitters get up and block and are aggressive at the net.”
The third set was even early, and the teams were tied 14-14 midway through. At 18-16, Apollo closed on a 7-2 run to earn the sweep and advance to the title game.
They’ll look to repeat their feat from 2016 by winning the region and advancing to state with a match against Breckinridge County (31-7) tonight.
The Lady Tigers took down Owensboro Catholic, the only team in the region to win even one set against the E-Gals this year, with 3-1 win in the other semifinal.
Apollo and Breckinridge County met a single time this season during the Apollo Summer Slam in a match that went 2-0 (25-19, 25-19) to the E-Gals.
Howard knows they have the talent to get another win.
“We have to make sure we take car of our side of the net,” Howard said. “If we play our game, we’ll have a great chance to advance.”