Owensboro Catholic had no trouble advancing on night two of the Region 3 volleyball tournament at Muhlenberg County, as the Lady Aces easily took down Grayson County 3-0 (25-13, 25-15, 25-12).
Owensboro Catholic (19-13) jumped ahead early Tuesday night to take care of business against the Lady Cougars (20-8) who were the District 12 runner-up despite being one of only four region teams with more than 20 wins during the regular season.
OCHS head coach Brian Hardison said it was a slow start, but the team fought hard to get a big win.
“We felt like we controlled the ball and served really well tonight,” Hardison said. “My team struggled to get going tonight, but the girls did a good job of keeping their energy up as much as they could.”
He said his team’s camaraderie, as well as their ability to power through adversity, were positive takeaways from the victory.
“One thing I really liked was when I decided to put in some younger players towards the end of the match, the girls were completely on board with the decision,” Hardison said. “They cheered for the girls and really made them feel like they were an important part of the team.”
Still, there are areas he said the team needs to improve on before their semifinal match today. Hardison said the Lady Aces need to improve the energy level.
“We need a lot more intensity next game,” Hardison said. “The girls kind of did something I asked them not to do tonight, and that is to put the game in cruise control. We cannot afford to do that again, this is just not the time of year for that. Ultimately, we need to run more plays. The girls will have a good day of practice tomorrow, and I am confident they will respond well.”
One player Hardison was especially proud of Tuesday night was Cassidy Towery. He said he felt she has improved throughout the year and has grown in leadership.
“She has really picked up her game this year,” Hardison said. “The great thing about the team, from Towery to Clemens to Wright and all the rest of the girls, is our ability to band together as a team. Coaches to players, players to players, all relationships have really improved throughout the year.”
Towery led the way for Owensboro Catholic against Grayson County (9 kills, 4 aces, 8 digs) along with help from Cecilia Clemens (3 kills, 25 assists, 4 aces) and Isabella Wright (14 kills, 1 ace, 7 digs).
The Lady Aces play again at 7:30 p.m. against Breckinridge County, who got a 3-0 win over Ohio County in the second match Tuesday. In their only meeting this year, Owensboro Catholic took down the Lady Tigers 3-2 (29-31, 25-23, 23-25, 25-16, 15-13).