Slideshow: Douglass, Henry Clay advance in 42nd District semis – https://www.kentucky.com/sports/high-school/article236549068.html
Henry Clay keeps rolling
Lexington herald Leader / www.kentucky.com
October 22, 2019
Henry Clay, the 42nd District Tournament’s top seed, made quick work of semifinals opponent Scott County on Tuesday with a straight-set win on its way to the Blue Devils’ 15th straight district finals appearance.
“Tonight we just went into the game thinking we’ve got to play our game … We can’t slack. Play hard, don’t let up,” said senior setter Sara Shadwick.
The Blue Devils rolled 25-7, 25-11 and 25-12 in a match where Henry Clay Coach Dale Grupe said he was relieved to have everyone back healthy at the right time of the season.
“This is only our fifth day overall all year that we’ve had all our kids healthy,” Grupe said. Shadwick and others missed significant time with nagging injuries. “We’re slowly getting to figure out how to play with each other.”
Henry Clay comes in as the No. 8 team in the state, according to the Kentucky Volleyball Coaches Association poll, and has never lost a 42nd District title since its realignment into it several years ago.
What the Blue Devils (21-15) have been missing the past couple of years, however, is an 11th Region title and its accompanying trip to the state tournament. With their season and the seniors’ high school careers on the line, Shadwick said the focus now is just to make sure every opponent gets their best effort.
“We just all have to get in that right mental mindset right before we play, she said. “We have to take every game seriously now because if you lose, you’re done. Some of us, this will be our last time ever playing, so we’re just really focused and dialed in on going as far as we can to get to state and win.”
Scott County (11-19) had defeated Sayre (21-15) in four sets, 3-1, in Monday’s opening round.
Wednesday’s finals winner also gets to host its first game of the 11th Region Tournament. Grupe crossed off game one of nine on the team’s goal list in Tuesday’s postgame huddle. Game nine would be the state finals.
“Our goal is to get to the last match. Tomorrow we have a chance to defend our district title, and more importantly, this year they’ve changed the format, so if we can win tomorrow, we can host on Monday.”