MOREHEAD West Carter put on an ace performance Monday night during the 16th Region Tournament.
The Lady Comets’ 3-0 (25-9, 25-19, 25-13) win over Greenup County during the first match of the region tournament marks the program’s first victory in that event.
“It is a big win for us, for that reason. We haven’t been a good tournament team in the past,” Lady Comets coach Christie Tackett said. “We have had good seasons and good records, but when it comes time to get it done, especially last year, we weren’t able to do that. This year we want to do that and we are going to be a little bit greedy. We are happy to get this first win, but we want more.”
Maybe it was last year’s disappointing end to their record-breaking season, or maybe it was Tackett’s promise that the Lady Comets could pick her first tattoo if they bring home the region trophy. Whatever the motivator, West Carter was hungry for the taste of victory.
“This season has been all about breaking records and pushing boundaries,” junior setter Madison Adkins said. “This is our first win ever in a regional tournament in West Carter history. We want to keep breaking those records and pushing our boundaries. We keep doing that by pushing more and more in practice so we can push more and more in these game situations,”
With sophomore Hailey James at the serve, the Lady Comets climbed to a 12-0 lead during the first set.
“She got it done for us,” Tackett said. “And to be so young, and to stay so focused, I am really proud of her.”
The jump-start allowed the Lady Comets to breeze through the set unscathed. They defeated the Lady Musketeers with minimal resistence, 25-9.
“It was a focus for us tonight,” Tackett said. “We wanted to come out strong. We didn’t want to come out slow. We feel like we play a lot better when we have a strong start. That worked out for us and we were able to keep that focus the whole game which helped.”
The Lady Comets serve continued to be an asset. A pair of aces from Adkins assisted them in climbing to a 10-3 lead during the second set. Emily Adkins also added a pair of aces and Rebecca Stevens served up an ace late in the set.
The Lady Comets brought more than a serve to Monday night’s game. A balanced attack also provided exceptional offense. Attacks were made by both Adkinses, Stevens, Brooklyn Carroll and Hailey Stone.
Junior Macie Inskeep and eighth grader Jenna Jordan entered from the bench in the third set to add to the West Carter offense. Inskeep had a solo block and two kills in the final set.
The Lady Comets took the first two points of the final set and held tight to the lead for the third straight set.
“You can’t overlook anyone,” Emily Adkins said. “It is the regional tournament and everyone is going to go out as hard as they can. You just have to play every ball, play every point and stay aggressive.”
The Lady Comets amassed six more aces before the match’s end.
Madison Adkins, who tallied three aces during the final set, finished the match with an ace.
Greenup County finished the season with a trip to the region tournament for the first time since 2012. Coach Eric Bays pronounced it a “good season.”
“I am proud of the girls, even knowing the game tonight didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to,” he said. “We now have bigger goals to work towards next season, and that starts by putting in the work during the offseason.”