The Lady Eagles accomplished something on Monday that no other volleyball team in the history of school has been able to do.
They won a set at the regional tournament.
And they very well could have won the match as well.
Madison Southern battled Woodford County for four tough, hard-fought sets in the 11th Region Tournament quarterfinals at Henry Clay.
The Lady Yellow Jackets (10-20) won by scores of 25-19, 20-25, 25-18 and 25-21.
Woodford moves on to face Dunbar in Wednesday’s semifinals.
“We showed our potential, but in the end we didn’t make enough plays,” Southern coach Jeremy Grant said.
Southern got a team-best six kills from Corrissa Maupin and finished with 16 aces.
The Lady Eagles (14-14) had never won a set at the regional tournament, and early on it looked like that streak would continue.
Woodford jumped out to an 8-1 lead in the opening set and held on to that advantage almost until the end. Southern got an ace from Brittany Gibson and a kill from senior Sara Castle, but got no closer than four points.
“With the way the first set went, I thought, ‘Wow. This could be a long night,’” Grant said. “But, they fought back and in the second set they had an energy.”
Every set had wide swings of momentum.
In the second set, Southern took an 18-11 lead on a kill by Maupin and strong serving from Ashley Clark and Gibson.
An ace by Castle gave the Lady Eagles a 20-14 lead, but Woodford battled back and got within two points late (23-21).
Southern finally closed out the set on a Clark serve.
“All year long, inconsistency was our issue, it was again tonight,” Grant said. “There were times when it looked like we could run away with a game, then we would give up seven or eight points. You can’t keep giving up plays to big teams.”
In the third set, Woodford stormed out to a big early lead. The Lady Yellow Jackets went up 8-2, but Southern battled back and tied the score (13-13) on great serving by Castle.
Woodford County then won five-straight points and the Lady Eagles never were able to recover. Maupin and Castle had kills, but Southern never got back within seven points in the final moments of the set.
“I think Corrissa did a magnificent job of reading their defense and getting balls,” Grant said.
In the fourth, Southern had the momentum early.
Behind the serving of Clark and Maupin, the Lady Eagles went up 10-4. Woodford pulled even at 13-13 and went on top build a six-point lead.
Southern fought off a match point, but was unable to force a fifth set.
“We took a set tonight,” Grant said. “We’ve got most of these girls coming back and they’ve already said that they want Woodford County next year.”