Great Crossing High School volleyball kicked off its inaugural season in style Friday through Sunday with a runner-up showing in the bronze division at the Bluegrass State Games tournament in Lexington.
The Warhawks split two matches on Friday before tipping Male in a best -of-three battle to open Saturday’s slate.
GCHS split its next two matches against Highlands and Henderson County on the middle day to finish in a tie for first place in pool play. The Warhawks came out on the wrong end of a tiebreaker in that scenario and were assigned to the bronze bracket for championship play.
After taking down Caldwell County in the quarterfinals, Great Crossing beat Bowling Green to earn a place in the title tilt with a familiar foe, Woodford County.
It was a back-and-forth final. Reagan McLean, named earlier in the week to the all-state preseason watch list, landed a shot deep to the right corner to clinch the opening set.
In the second game, Great Crossing overcame deficits of 17-11 and 19-14 before tumbling 22-20 to set up a winner-take-all third.
Woodford County won the title, but Great Crossing — a team with only one senior on the court all weekend — walked away with ample encouragement that “team one” has a bright future this fall.
“We went 6-3 on the weekend, second place in the third flight,” Great Crossing coach Adam Ivetic said. “We gave the evetntual champs (in the top flight), Male, their only loss.”
McLean led the Warhawks with 72 kills through the nine games.
Ryann Thomas added 49, with the top numbers evenly spread down the line between Grace Brooker (26), Jasmine Koonce (23) and Alora Wilson (20).
Taylor Carwile, the team’s only senior, was solid in the all-important libero slot throughout the tournament.
All those players, along with Ivetic, were part of a stellar 24-win season at Scott County last year.
Other members of the medal-winning squad were Morgan Floyd, Kirstynn Yarber, Marley Staats and Morgan Caba.
In addition to a tremendous effort by the Warhawks’ varsity squad, the Great Crossing junior varsity won gold in its Bluegrass State Games bracket with a victory over DuPont Manual.
Great Crossing will host Scott County in the inaugural “Battle of the Birds” at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 23, just prior to the first-ever football game between the two schools.
SCHS will host a second match on Oct. 14.
The season opener is set for Tuesday, Aug. 20, also at home, against Lexington Christian Academy.
Kal Oakes can be reached via email at email@example.com.