The varsity girls volleyball team traveled to Butler High School on Saturday to face Mercy-McAuley in the District Finals. The girls were hoping to exact some revenge for an early season loss to the Wolves in Kentucky and punch just the second regional ticket in school history. There is an old adage which says sometimes you can get away with not playing your best and still escape with a win. However, one of those times is not when you are facing a very talented Mercy-McAuley squad in the District Finals.
From the get go on Saturday, the Elks seemed out of sync and the Wolves took advantage of every opportunity they were given. After scoring the match’s first point to take their only lead of the first set at 1-0, the girls quickly fell behind, 6-1, and were forced to take their first time out. Coming out of the timeout, the Elks scored the next two points to pull within 6-3 before McAuley ran off five straight to stretch their lead to 11-3 and force the Elks to call another time out. Late in the set, the Elks put together a little rally and pulled within five at 20-15, forcing Mercy-McAuley to call their only time out of the day. What resulted was a 5-0 run to grab the first set, 20-15, and take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five match.
In the second set, the two teams traded several great volleys as the score went back and forth. With the Elks leading, 13-12, Mercy-McAuley took advantage of a missed serve to start a quick, 4-0, run to go out in front, 16-13, forcing the Elks to call their first time out. Three more points in a row by the Wolves stretched the lead to 19-13 and forced the Elks to call their second and final time out of the second set. After five more points to cap a 12-0 run were scored, the Elks showed some signs of life by scoring four in a row to cut the lead to 24-17. The Wolves closed out the set with the next point for a 25-17 win and a commanding, 2-0, lead in the match.
Sensing blood in the water, the Wolves came out focused in set three, determined to end the match quickly. They sprinted to a 6-0 lead which forced the Elks to call their first time out. After playing a little better and closing the gap to three on a number of occasions, the Elks gave up a quick, 3-0, run to fall behind, 17-11, and called what turned out to be their final time out of the season. Showing no let-up at all, the Wolves closed out the match with an 8-2 run to claim the third set, 25-13, and sweep the match, 3-0.
Although a disappointing end, the girls enjoyed a fantastic season which saw them win 20 games, go undefeated in conference play and win a conference championship. Their 20-5 record included losses to Mercy-McAuley (2), St. Henry, one of the top teams in Kentucky who finished ranked ninth, Toledo St. Ursula, currently ranked fourth in the state and Mason, who finished ranked 14th.
Thank you to the seniors who gave everything they had to this program over the years. We are very excited for what the future holds for you and will miss you very much.