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The Shelby County volleyball team turned the tables on Anderson County on Monday night.
The Rockets, who lost a pair of regular-season matches to the Bearcats, swept them, 3-0, in the 30th District Tournament semifinals at Collins.
Shelby County will have to duplicate that feat if it’s going to defend its district title against Collins at 7 tonight in the district final. The Titans, who swept Spencer County, 3-0, in Monday’s first semifinal, beat Shelby in both their regular-season meetings. Regardless of tonight’s outcome, though, both teams advance to next week’s 8th Region Tournament.
Shelby County 3, Anderson County 0
The Bearcats had beaten the Rockets, 3-0, on Sept. 10 and, 3-2, on Oct. 3. This time around, though, Shelby County won, 27-25, 25-18, 25-21.
“Our focus was on our game, not their game,. We didn’t play our game [in the first two matches],” Rockets Coach Felicia Pace said. “Today we were talking about playing with heart, because heart goes farther than athletic ability sometimes. And I think when we put our heart out there, that kept pushing us and driving us to win.”
Shelby County “toughed it out,” according to Pace, in the first set then carried that momentum over to the final two sets.
“I’ve always believed in them, but I wanted them to believe in themselves,” Pace said. “I think once they started believing in themselves that helped them take this in three games.”
Seniors Dasia Jones and Nikki Simmons led the way for the Rockets with 6 kills and 10 digs apiece. Senior Kyndle Pace recorded 10 digs on defense, and junior Rachel Timperman had five kills on offense.
Collins 3, Spencer County 0
The Titans (18-8) won their sixth consecutive match by beating the Bears (3-20) for the third time this season, 25-6, 25-19, 25-10.
“It’s the strongest we’ve come out all year long,” said first-year Collins Coach Cary Clark, whose team topped Spencer County, 3-1 on Sept. 5 in Taylorsville and, 3-0, on Oct. 10 in Shelbyville. “We showed up ready to play.”
Just how ready were the Titans? They had a perfect service percentage – freshmen Blair Nethery (three) and Kori Weaver (two) combined for five aces – as well as a perfect serve-receive percentage in the first set.
Junior outside hitter MiChaela Stoudemire led Collins’ offensive attack with three kills, and senior Tori Ladwig tallied two.
Stoudemire added four kills and three solo blocks in the second set, when the Titans’ service percentage dipped to 91.3.
In the third set the Titans jumped out to a 6-0 lead thanks to the serving of Nethery and cruised from there.
Collins finished with 25 kills (Stoudemire had nine and four others had three), a 92.9 service percentage and an 80 serve-receive percentage.
The Titans, who beat Shelby County, 3-1, on Aug. 29 and Sept. 24, will be trying for their third district title in four years.
30th District Tournament
Semifinals at Collins
Collins def. Spencer County, 25-6, 25-19, 25-10
CHS stats:MiChaela Stoudemire 9 kills, 4 solo blocks; Keri Perdue 18 assists, 3 digs; Blair Nethery 6 aces, 3 kills; Kori Weaver 3 aces; Sam Ingram 6 assists; Christen Stewart 3 kills; Tori Ladwig 3 kills; Sierra Shepherd 3 kills; Koti Weaver 4 digs.
Shelby County def. Anderson County, 27-25, 25-18, 25-21
SCHS stats: Dasia Jones 6 kills, 10 digs; Nikki Simmons 6 kills, 10 digs; Rachel Timperman 5 kills; Kyndle Pace 10 digs.
Final at Collins
7 p.m. tonight