The Madison Southern Eagles volleyball team (12-12) finished off a season sweep of cross-town rival Berea Community (5-18) with a straight set, 3-0, 25-14, 25-11, 25-15 victory Tuesday.
The win earned the Eagles the No. 2 seed, and a first-round matchup with the Pirates, in the 44th District Tournament, which begins Oct. 21 at Madison Central.
Southern, playing its first game in more than a week, looked a little rusty, especially in its service game. That combined with some spirited play from the Pirates, allowed Berea to hang close in all three games.
But the Eagles just had too much firepower for the Pirates and they pulled away late in each game.
Southern coach Jeremy Grant said he thought his team might be a little flat.
“We haven’t played since Jackson County last week and yesterday in practice we were a little flat so I kind of expected us tonight not to come out with our best effort,” Grant said. “We’ve got district coming up and we’re coming off fall break and it’s Homecoming week, so I don’t think our minds were entirely here tonight.”
Game one was tied at 7-7 before Southern slowly began to pull away, taking a 17-10 advantage on an ace by Morgan Tincher.
The Eagles’ service game finally found a little life, reeling off the final three points of the game, the last on an ace by Megan Faught.
Game two was much the same, Berea tied the game at 5-5 only to see the Eagles run off 10-straight points to take a commanding lead they never relinquished.
The third and deciding game, the Eagles jumped out to a 4-0 lead and were never really threatened.
Berea eventually got as close as 12-8 before junior MaKayla Wildman served eight-consecutive points to help the Eagles pull away.
On a night when its service game was sporadic, Grant said it was nice to see Wildman right the ship.
“That was our worst serving night we’ve had all year,” Grant said. “MaKayla did a good job there in game three. But everyone of those girls has that ability to run off big streaks. Tonight, I just don’t think we were real focused.”
Grant said he was impressed with the improvement he saw from the Lady Pirates since the two teams played early in the season.
“Berea has improved a whole lot since we played them in August. They did some things tonight that we were not ready for and they didn’t quit when they got down,” Grant said. “Tonight was not a good night, but we did what we had to do to win and made plays when we needed to and we got everybody in to play, so it’s a good night.”
Southern finishes up its regular season with a Senior Night contest on Oct. 18 against East Jessamine.
The Pirates return to action on Saturday at noon when they host West Carter.
Lexington Catholic 3, Central 2
The Madison Central Indians lost a heartbreaker 3-2 on the road Tuesday to Lexington Catholic.
The first two games were extremely tight with Catholic coming away with 25-21 and 25-22 victories.
Central bounced back to take the next two games 25-18 and 25-17 to force a fifth and deciding game.
But, Catholic pulled out a 15-9 win to claim the match 3-2.
Peyton Templeton led the way offensively for the Lady Indians with seven kills and three blocks, while Katherine White also added seven kills.
Haleigh Morris and Tyra Cain had five kills each, while Cain added three blocks.
Katie Stuart finished with 28 assists and 11 digs in the game.
The Indians return to action on Thursday when they travel to Lexington to take on Lafayette at 7:30 p.m.