LONE OAK – Marshall County bowed out of the Region 1 volleyball tournament Wednesday night, falling 3-0 to the region’s top-rated team, host Lone Oak.
The Lady Flash prevailed 25-14, 25-11, 25-12 on the way to a Thursday night championship encounter with Ballard Memorial, Lone Oak 3-0.
First-year coach Dan Langhi had mixed emotions at the conclusion of an 18-20 season.
“We got a big win [over county rival and highly regarded Christian Fellowship, in the district semifinals], and we got a win in the region [in a first-round match against Fulton City],” Langhi said.
“Lone Oak’s a great team. But we didn’t play one of our better games” against the Lady Flash, he added.
Neither, he added, did Lone Oak, ranked 13th in the state in the Oct. 4 coaches’ poll and 34-4 after the straight-sets win over Marshall County.
“They made some mistakes,” Langhi said of the powerful Lady Flash. “We just didn’t have that same intensity. Lone Oak plays at a faster pace.”
The Lady Marshals fell behind early in the opening set but closed the gap to tie the score at 7-7. Jasmine Bennett then triggered a four-point run with two kills and Lone Oak went on to take a 1-0 lead.
Marshall County got four of the first five points of the second set to take a 4-1 lead, with kills by Rachael Reed and Madison Grammer. The Lady Flash regained the lead with a seven-point run.
The Lady Marshals led only once, at 1-0, in the third set. But they tied the game at 4-4 on two straight aces by Reed before Lone Oak began to pull away.
“Give credit to the girls,” Langhi said. “They fought hard. They worked hard to get in the region.”
In the opening semifinal, Ballard Memorial came from a 2-0 deficit to upend Community Christian Academy 3-2 and move into the championship match.
Lone Oak defeated Graves County 3-0 in first-round play Tuesday.
On Monday, CCA beat Reidland and Ballard defeated Hickman County, both by 3-0 scores.
MC 3, Fulton City 0
The Lady Marshals advanced to the semifinals with a straight-sets win over District 1 champion Fulton City.
Marshall County built a 21-9 lead in the third game, but the Lady Bulldogs fought back furiously. A run of five straight points cut the advantage to 23-16, and then three more points made it 24-19. A mishandled volley gave the Lady Marshals the match-winning point, 25-19.
The match opened with a game that was tied at 9-9 before Marshall County began to edge away. Six straight points, three of them coming on kills by Rachael Reed, ran the score to 15-9, and after Reed misfired on a return, she nailed another kill to make it 16-10.
The Lady Marshals outscored Fulton City 9-4 the rest of the way for a double-figures win at 25-15.
The second set was the most competitive. Even though Fulton City led only once, at 5-4, the Lady Bulldogs overcame a mid-game spurt by Marshall County and cut the lead to two points at 20-18.
They never trailed by more than four points the rest of the way, falling 25-22.
Fulton City finished the year 24-7, including a perfect 10-0 mark in district play.