The South Central volleyball team is hoping history is about to repeat itself after wrapping up a stellar regular season with a 26-24, 14-25, 16-14 win over North Clay Saturday in the championship of the Midland Trail Conference Tournament.
The victory gave the Lady Cougars (29-2) both the MTC regular-season and conference-tournament titles for the first time since 2004.
That was the same year South Central went on to a program-record 34 wins and a sectional championship.
Coach Mary Brimberry feels this year’s version of the Lady Cougars is capable of equaling or exceeding that team’s accomplishments.
‘As a team, we haven’t really talked about it,’ Brimberry said. ‘But as the coach of both teams, I see that as a very real possibility.’
The Lady Cougars beat the second-seeded Cardinals (21-9) for the second time in as many matches this season.
But it wasn’t easy.
North Clay bounced back from a heartbreaking loss in Game 1 to force a third game with a convincing Game 2 advantage. But the Lady Cougars pulled out another tight one in Game 3 to close out the regular season on a 12-match winning streak.
‘We were really excited,’ Brimberry said. ‘The girls were ready for it. It was nice it came out our way.’
Justy Rothe was a force at the net and service line for the Lady Cougars Friday, finishing with nine kills and nine points.
Jackie Michel had team highs of 14 points and 14 assists, while Kelsey Uphold had seven kills and six points.
Kendra Schaal chipped in 12 assists, two kills and nine points, including an ace.
South Central advanced to the title match with an easy 25-17, 25-11 win over Grayville.
Rothe had 10 kills and 14 points in the win – including four aces. Uphold added six kills and 11 points, including an ace.
Thursday’s MTC Tournament
Pool ‘A’ Matches
The Lady Cougars had no trouble winning their pool, sweeping host Clay City (25-20, 25-23) and Woodlawn (25-13, 25-17).
Krista Lotz led the way at the service line with 29 points on the evening, including three aces.
Uphold had a great all-around night, finishing with 12 kills and 18 points, including six aces. Rothe added a team-high 15 kills, while Schaal chipped in 17 points and two aces.