By Nathan Hutchinson
Register Sports Editor
The Lady Indians were trying to make history on Tuesday — and they got off to a good start.
No Madison County team had ever won a match at the regional volleyball tournament, but Madison Central stormed back late to take the opening set from Franklin County at Western Hills High School.
The Lady Indians, however, couldn’t carry that momentum over to the rest of the match.
The Lady Flyers rallied to take the next three sets and defeated Central, 3-1, in the opening round of the 11th Region Tournament. Franklin County won by scores of 24-26, 25-15, 25-14 and 25-16.
The Lady Flyers (20-13) advance to the semifinals to take on Dunbar
Central finishes the season with a 15-15 record.
“I really don’t know what happened,” Central coach Marita Kinley said. “We couldn’t get into a rhythm in our offense. We had some unforced errors (in the second set). We struggled to pass the ball. We didn’t take care of our side of the court.”
The first set was close early before the Lady Indians were able to get out in front – or so they thought.
Central won four-straight points behind the serving of Demetria Young, but the officials ruled that the Lady Indians had served out of turn.
So, the score reverted back to before Young’s first serve, 9-6, and Franklin County was awarded an additional point.
The Lady Flyers eventually took a 17-11 lead and looked to be in control.
Central got a kill from Samantha Walczyk and a service winner and an ace from Payton Templeton to pull even at 20-20.
Franklin County was up 23-20 before the Lady Indians scored six of the final seven points of the set.
Katie Stuart had a service winner and a ace, Katherine White added a block and Haleigh Morris finished the set with a kill.
“I was really proud of them for fighting through that,” Kinley said. “They rebounded from that, which was awesome. We were pretty pumped we came through that set.”
Central got out to a 5-1 lead in the second set, but that momentum didn’t last. Franklin County put together a 7-0 run to go up 10-7 and never trailed again.
In the third set, Franklin County used an early 9-0 run to take a 10-1 lead.
Central was able to get back within four points, but never got any closer.
Franklin County had a 10-3 lead in the fourth set before Central fought back. A kill by Morris and strong serving by Young helped the Lady Indians get back within a point (12-11).
Central trailed by just a point again moments later (14-13), but the Lady Flyers won 10 of the final 12 points of the set.
“We just didn’t do the little things we need to do to be successful,” Kinley said. “That’s what hurt us.”