Girls 8th Grade Volleyball Test Intermediate · Tigers Win 8th Grade Connersville Tournament

2 Richmond High School
0 Connersville High School
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Richmond High School vs Connersville High School
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1 25   14
2 25   4
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Tigers earn Connersville Invitational Championship
The first game of the tournament was a rematch with the host Connersville Spartans. The Tigers had defeated the Spartans in Richmond three days prior and the Spartans were keen on returning the favor. The 8th grade Tigers had just finished cheering for and celebrating the 7th grade Tiger victory. They had handled their business and moved into the winner’s bracket. Now it was time for the elder Tigers to do the same. The goal for both 7th and 8th grade teams was to play solid, fundamental volleyball and leave Fayette County with both championships. The Tiger cubs held up their end of the deal, now it was the 8th graders’ turn.
The first game started with Test winning the coin flip and electing to serve. Paighton Morken got the Tigers out of the gate with a quick four points and a lead that they would never relinquish. Playing their best team volleyball of the season, the Tigers were attacking from all positions. Line shot after line shot from Kirsten Urich produced kill after kill. Hard cross court attacks by Kamryn Wright exhibited Test’s ability to attack from the right side. Perfect passes from Kara Mullins and Sasha Matthews made the offense go. The Spartan’s were befuddled. They had no answers for the effective, diversified attack that the Tigers put on display. A run of six points served by Kara Mullins was followed by another five from Morken and the spirit of the Spartans was destroyed. The final score of game one was 25-14 and the psychological advantage gained by the Tigers was huge.
Game two with the Spartans started as efficiently and aggressively as game one had ended. The offense was putting balls down and the defense was keeping balls alive. It was Test’s best display of volleyball all season. Sasha Matthews run of five from the service line created early separation from the Spartans as the Tigers took total command of the game. One rotation later, the game was over. Kamryn Wright stepped to the serving position and put on a serving clinic. Twelve points later, the lead was insurmountable and the Spartans were done. A final score of 25-4 propelled the Tigers into the finals where they would meet their desired opponent, the Bulldogs of Centerville. Both teams were now in the finals and both were playing their best volleyball of the year.
The matchup with Centerville was exactly what the Tigers had anticipated and wanted. Many of the players have played with and against each other in club ball and summer leagues. There was a familiarity that can be both comforting and distracting. One thing for sure, it was certainly going to be a fun volleyball match to play and an entertaining match for the spectators to watch.
From the first serve, it was going to be competitive. Sideouts and single points for both teams was the rule for the first full rotation around the court. Neither team could gain momentum or secure an advantage. With the score being even, the second rotation was a fresh start. Paighton Morken put two on the board followed by five from Sasha Matthews and the pressure was now on the Bulldogs to respond. They didn’t. Kirsten Urich added four more and the game was quickly out of reach. The quality passing and the hard hitting continued to the end gaining the Tigers a 25-17, set one, win.
With a tournament title one game away, the Tigers were roaring with excitement, while the Bulldogs, now with their backs to the wall were not about to go down without a serious fight. Early in set two, the teams played even volleyball. Both were playing well with long rallies becoming more frequent. Neither team wanted to make a mistake. Consequently, the game became more conservative. Keep the ball in play and let the opponent make an error. That sequence of events ended when Kara Mullins started serving. A couple of aces and the once even game evolved into a four point lead for the Tigers. Throughout the second game, the teams continued playing good volleyball. Pass, set, attack was the common sequence for both teams. It was fun to play and exciting to watch. There were some unusual plays during the action, back row attacks from Wright and Urich, a serve off the net that was kicked up by Morken and transitioned into a kill by Wright for match point. In the end, the Tigers maintained their advantage on the scoreboard and won 25-20. Following the example set by the 7th grade Tigers, the 8th graders gathered at the announcer’s table to collect their own, well-earned championship trophy. A few pictures, a few high fives and “Family on three!” Great job by both teams! And a huge thank you to the parents and grandparents who brought food to the event. Your support for both of the teams has been wonderful. Thank you so much!