Through the middle

Amy McClure of Scott County spikes the ball between Emily Krintz, left, and Brooke Hager of West Jessamine during Thursday’s volleyball match at SCHS.

Scott County volleyball has enjoyed at least a one-set lead in all five of its matches so far this season. The Cardinals also have dropped one set by a double-digit margin in three of those.

With four freshmen and four sophomores in the regular rotation, those extreme highs and lows probably are to be expected. SC certainly encountered them in Thursday's five-set home loss to West Jessamine.

“It's a roller coaster. It doesn't make sense,” SC coach Joe LaMagno said. “Sometimes we're on fire, and the next thing you know we have no fire.”

The reigning 12th Region champion Colts dominated the opening game, 25-10, and were four points away from another easy win before the Cardinals stormed back for a 25-23 victory, then backed it up with a 25-21 triumph in the third stanza.

Just when SC felt safe to daydream about a benchmark win, West Jessamine snapped back and balanced the ledger with a 25-12 verdict before cruising 15-6 in the fifth and deciding set.

'They got inspired fast,” LaMagno said of the Colts. “Then it's just like a snowball effect of errors where we can't pull it together, and when we do pull it together, it's too late.”

Scott County won 13 of the final 14 points in the furious second-set rally. Darian Fitzpatrick fueled the comeback with a crucial kill, which turned it over to Makenzie Peters for a pair of aces.

Digs by Peters and Jayla Harris set up a kill by Emily Sue Watts, and a block from Samantha McClanahan kept the train rolling.

Watts later put away the game-winner.

'The girls were talking about 'We need energy,' and to them, energy was cheerleading,” LaMagno said. “No, energy is defense. Defense is where it all starts.”

Amy McClure and Emily Rose continued translating that into offense at the net in game three. McClanahan and Grace Gindling provided aces to protect the lead before Watts once again polished off the set.

West Jessamine ripped open an early 4-1 lead to take control of the equalizing set. SC jumped out 2-0 in the fifth. McClure's kill later gave the Cards their last lead before the Colts fashioned four consecutive points to take command.

“I expect to beat everybody we play,” LaMagno said. “At least we battled back. Tonight's defense isn't what we were. I thought against Catholic (in a Tuesday night road win) our defense was real scrappy. Today it was spotty at best.”

SC made it two out of three on the week with a hard-fought, best-of-three sweep at Madison Central, 27-25, 25-23, on Saturday. 

SC boys’ soccer returns to .500 with 4-1 road triumph at Berea

Scott County boys' soccer bounced back from losses to two 11th Region powers earlier in the week with a convincing 4-1 victory at Berea on Saturday.

Elijah Tarter, Jacob Bange, Lucas Kinzer and Eduardo Flores picked up goals for the Cardinals. Tarter and Kinzer each tacked on an assist along with Braden Skirvin and Harrison Siegel. Logan Jean made five saves in the SC net.

The result evened SC's record at 3-3 on the season, all on the road or at neutral sites to this point.

Home finally awaits the Cards, if ever so briefly with a 42nd District match Tuesday against Frederick Douglass. It's back to the highway for a trip to West Jessamine on Thursday, then a shorter jaunt next door for Saturday's Battle of the Birds. 

Martinez nets goal in loss

Likewise, SC girls' soccer wrapped up a lengthy road swing Thursday with a 2-1 loss to Boone County. Graciela Martinez scored her first goal of the season for the Cards (2-2) with a redirection off a free kick.

This week graces the Cards with a three-game homestand: Boone County on Monday, Sayre in a district match Wednesday, and Frankfort on Saturday. 

Notable

• Scott County High School boys' golf team members and Royal Spring Middle School seventh-graders Brady Parker and Wyatt Merkins shot matching scores of 83 Saturday, earning each of them in a tie for 14th out of 87 players in the state middle school championship at Winchester Country Club.

• In JV football, Scott County traveled to Bryan Station on Saturday afternoon and squeaked out a 34-30 victory. 

Kal Oakes can be reached via email at sports@news-graphic.com.

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