A step forward

Volleyball season ended Tuesday night for Grace Wells and Scott County with a loss to Bryan Station in the 42nd District semifinals. The Cards finished with a record of 17-12.

Scott County's exit from the 42nd District volleyball tournament and 11th Region playoff contention Tuesday night exhibited just how quickly fortunes can be reversed in one of the state's most competitive local pockets of the sport.

The Cardinals won the first six points of the second set and soon were five points away from pulling even with the Defenders, they of the top RPI ranking in the field and a No. 9 ranking in the state.

Instead, Bryan Station started a 17-3 run that encompassed the end of that game and the start of the third and final chapter of a straight-sets semifinal win at Henry Clay High School.

Bryan Station prevailed by scores of 25-19, 25-21, 25-15 for its eighth consecutive win in the series with Scott County.

In Wednesday's final, the Defenders avenged an earlier loss to the top-seeded Frederick Douglass Broncos in four sets to win their first-ever district championship.

Scott County (17-12) entered the tournament as the No. 3 seed, its best regular-season finish since reaching the district championship round and region semifinals in 2015.

Grace Gindling (10 kills) and Emily Sue Watts (seven) helped the Cardinals hang tough with the heavy-hitting Defenders (24-4).

Jayla Harris extended points with a team-high 12 digs, backed by Watts with seven and Hollie Hasenbalg and Makenzie Peters with six apiece in that category.

Peters finished with a team-high 16 assists. Blocks were a team effort led by Emily Rose, the Cards' lone senior, with four. Amy McClure and Melanie McClanahan delivered three apiece.

McClanahan, Hasenbalg and Grace Wells each supplied an ace from the service line.

Bryan Station carries an eight-game winning streak into next week's 11th Region tournament. SC enjoyed runs of four and six consecutive victories during the season en route to its second-highest win total in the past six seasons.

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

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