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Shelby County jumped out quickly but had to rally in the third set to top host Anderson County, 2-1 (25-13, 18-25, 25-17), in the 28th District Volleyball Championship match Tuesday.
The Rockets (13-7) raced out to a 10-0 lead behind Christy Hatter's serve and coasted past the Bearcats (18-12) in the first game.
A late serving streak gave Anderson County the victory in game two, but the Rockets fought back to take game three behind a balanced attack.
"The girls combined together in defense and offense to capture the third game," Coach Felicia Pace said. "I couldn't have asked the girls for better tournament play. They worked hard from start to finish and never quit. It was a well-earned and well-deserved victory."
Outside hitters Leanna Armstrong and Akia Jones, along with setter Heather Luce, were named to the All-District team.
8th Region tourney
The 8th Region Tournament draw won't be until the weekend, so the Rockets aren't sure who they will face or when they'll begin play in the tournament in Bullitt County. The winner of the 27th Region, either North Bullitt or Bullitt East, will host the tournament.
The two Bullitt schools, 29th District winner Oldham County and runner-up North Oldham and 30th District winner Walton-Verona and runner-up Gallatin County will join Shelby and Anderson.
The Rockets and Anderson will be in opposite brackets, and Shelby will draw from a pool of district runners-up for the first round.
The Lady Rockets haven't been to the region tournament since winning the district in 2005, so no players on this year's squad have played in a region tournament before.
"It will be a new experience for the entire team," Pace said. "We will plan match by match and try to treat the tournament just like we would approach a tough match during the regular season. But the girls have great talent, and when they put it together we can do some good things."
Though they lack regional experience, her players, Pace said, do have some experience to fall back on.
"They have experience in victories resulting from fighting for something they want," she said." Hopefully those successes will be etched in their memories and come into play during the region."
Pace said the Oldham schools have controlled the region for the past few years, and she expects them to be strong again. But she also likes sneaking in under the radar.
"We would enjoy the opportunity to be the unexpected underdog who upsets a powerhouse," she said. "All our girls have stepped up their game in recent play. Our leading attackers right now are Keyshia Patterson, Leanna Armstrong and Akia Jones.
"If we can continue to increase our defensive game, the girls will offer any team a battle."