No matter the outcome, Greenwood Christian Academy was destined to make history Wednesday night.
Playing what was the school’s first Johnson County Tournament in any sport, the volleyball team scored an opening-round 25-13, 25-18, 25-21 victory against Greenwood to move into today’s semifinals at Edinburgh.
Greenwood Christian (19-3) faces Franklin in the Lancers’ main gymnasium at 5:30 p.m. The other semifinal, between Center Grove and Indian Creek, will be played in Edinburgh’s auxiliary gym at the same time. The championship match is tonight at 7 in the main gym.
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“It feels great, but we approach every game the same,” Cougars coach Kayla Back said. “We came in and we were focused. We didn’t ever come out flat. It was never something where we thought, ‘Oh, we’ve got to fight through’. I told them to focus on us, do what we do best and the points will come.
“Our seniors really stepped up and are starting to really play like seniors. I think it’s kind of rare to see before the end of the season, but it’s awesome.”
Greenwood Christian outside hitter Grace Peters recorded six of her 13 kills in the opening set as the Cougars established their dominance early. The Woodmen held leads in both the final two sets — including a 9-5 advantage in the second before Greenwood Christian went on a 7-0 scoring run.
Two of the kills during the flurry of points came off kills from senior outside hitter Sierra Gilson, who finished the match with five kills. Greenwood jumped out to a 7-4 lead in the third, but it’s here senior middle blocker Sarah Mangan (seven kills) began asserting herself.
Also for the Cougars, senior setter Lexi Odgers finished with three aces. Greenwood received six kills and an ace from junior middle blocker Alyssa Stilley, while sophomore Joy Maze added five kills.
Peters knows her team has its work cut out for it later today having to face the Grizzly Cubs on a neutral floor.
“Franklin is a great team, and we’re going to have to come out super strong and just worry about ourselves and play our game,” she said.
Franklin moved on by downing Edinburgh, 25-13, 25-15, 25-18, on Wednesday. Isabel Mahin recorded 10 kills for the Cubs, while junior Brooklyn Peddycord added nine digs and four aces. Setter Brooke Phillips produced 22 digs.
Indian Creek used 10 kills and four blocks from Taylor Burkett in its opener to defeat visiting Whiteland, 25-20, 25-12, 25-18. Tori Travers added seven digs in the win. Leading the Warriors were Toni Joyner and Jordan Wise with three kills each.