A quick start wasn’t enough for the Owensboro Catholic volleyball team, and they lost 3-1 (21-25, 25-23, 25-17, 26-24) to Breckinridge County in the Region 3 semifinal.
The Lady Aces (19-14) held three set points in the fourth but lost the final five points, ending their season quicker than they had hoped.
Head coach Brian Hardison said Owensboro Catholic cost themselves a chance by making mistakes, and it’s something that’s been a persistent problem this season.
“It’s the exact same thing that’s happened all year,” he said. “Instead of making plays, they want to make excuses or they want to complain. You either go out and play as a team or fall as a team.”
The Lady Aces came out strong to open the match and took a 9-1 lead in the opening set. The Lady Tigers (31-7) pushed hard to get within two points, a deficit they maintained throughout the set. At 22-20, OCHS was able to close on a short 3-1 run.
Momentum shifted quickly, and Breckinridge County took a 10-5 lead before the Lady Aces came back to hang point-for-point in set two. A couple late errors tilted the frame in favor of the Lady Tigers, who continued their success in the third set.
“Give Breck their due,” Hardison said. “They played amazing. We went over how we could beat them, but we didn’t stay with it. It’s almost like we panicked.”
A back-and-forth fourth set was tied 18-18 before the Lady Aces took a late advantage. Needing only one point at 24-21 to go to a tiebreak set, Owensboro Catholic wasn’t able convert.
Hardison was still proud of his team for not caving in after getting in a 2-1 hole. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to come away with the win.
“We played hard,” he said. “We didn’t give up. We could have easily gave up when we went down two sets. We did some good stuff. Down the stretch, we made mistakes when we couldn’t afford them.”
The Lady Aces end their season one match short of matching their run last year, when they lost in the region championship to Meade County. Hardison said it’s somewhat disappointing not to make it back, but the team had some successful outings.
Most notably, Owensboro Catholic was the only team in the region — so far — to win a single set against Apollo, a team the Lady Aces took down in the District 9 championship.
Hardison can look forward to next year, though, as he only loses three players to graduation from this year’s squad.