by Gary Andrews
It was not the day the Southwood Lady Knight volleyball team had hoped for. Just three days after winning their sixth straight regional title, the Knights were playing Woodlan in the second game of the Bremen semi-state Saturday. Battling some health issues and a much taller Woodlan front line, the Warriors dominated the net as they hit over the Knight defense, ending the Southwood season 10-25, 23-25, 26-24, 10-25.
Lexi Brickner and Drew Rhamy would get kills early for the Knights as they held a 2-1 lead before the Warriors would take control. Woodlan scored three straight when Sami White stopped the mini run to make it 3-4. At that point the Warriors would feed the tall front row, scoring nine straight points to take a 13-3 lead that the Knights could never recover from. Woodlan would have a four point and a five point run down the stretch as they defeated Southwood 10-25.
Again Southwood would take a 2-1 lead in game two, this time behind two kills from Kaitlyn Murphy. With the game tied at 5, the Warriors would go on a mini run, scoring five straight to take a 5-10 lead. Lexi Brickner, Sarah Peters and Kaitlyn Murphy would connect on three straight kills to cut the Woodlan lead to 8-10 and the kept the margin at two until 13-15 when Brickner would get a kill and a block and with a Drew Rhamy ace the Knights led 17-16. Woodlan would respond, scoring five of the next six game points to open an 18-21 lead when the Knights answered again. Murphy and Rhamy would get kills as the Knights scored three to knot the game at 21. Down 21-22 Sami White would score on a tip, followed by a Rhamy kill and Southwood led 23-22. The Warriors responded by scoring the last three points of the game to win game two 23-25 and led the match 0-2.
Things looked bleak for the Knights early in game three as Woodlan raced out to a 1-5 lead. The Knights would respond with an ace from Rhamy and a kill from Murphy to cut the lead to 6-8. The much taller Warriors would then find the right rotation at the net and they built their lead to 10-16. Rhamy, White and Emilie Harnish would get kills as the Knights kept close and trailed 16-21 when they made their move. Kaitlyn Murphy would get a kill, a block and two more kills to cut the Woodlan lead to 20-21 and it was game on. Woodlan would score three of the next four points, having Southwood on the ropes leading 21-24 when the Knights made one more push. Lexi Brickner would record a kill that was followed by a tip from Sami White to make it 23-24. Two Warrior errors gave Southwood a 25-24 lead when Brickner got a block to end game three 26-24 and the Knights were back in it.
As often happens in volleyball games, one run can make the difference. For most of the season the Knights were the one issuing a run. In game four Southwood was on the receiving end. Trailing 6-7 Woodlan would go on a 10-0 that all but did the Knights in to take a 17-6 lead and ended the game with a 6-0 run to win game four 10-25 and the Southwood season.
Lexi Brickner had 1 service point, 7 kills, 4 blocks, and 4 digs. Sami White had 10 service points, 7 kills, 18 assist, 1 block, and 9 digs. Bailey Hobbs had 2 service points, 2 digs. Sarah Peters had 3 service points, 3 kills, 9 digs, and 1 block. Kaitlyn Murphy had 10 kills, 1 block, and 1 assist. Emilie Harnish had 3 service points, 1 ace, 1 kill, and 4 digs. Amy Bowman had 1 service point, 5 kills, 17 assist, 2 blocks, 9 digs. Drew Rhamy had 9 service points, 2 aces, 8 kills, and 11 digs.
Southwood’s final record was 26-11 7-0 TRC.