Winning district games is something the Lady Pioneers can do. Taking care of out-of-conference opponents is still a work in progress.
The WCHS volleyball team started its District 6AAA slate with a road win over Shelbyville last week in straight sets, but followed it up with a straight-set loss to White County Monday at home. The volleyball team is now 4-2 this year, albeit 1-0 in the games that matter the most.
Coach Erin Blalock was ecstatic by her team taking down the Golden Eagles last Thursday. The Lady Pioneers won 25-22, 25-21 and 25-23, closing out three tough sets with great play in the clutch. It was exactly how the coach wanted to see the district season start.
“It’s huge to get one on the road. District is where it counts,” said Blalock. “Winning the first one is big and we’re going to have two more big ones this week. We know the district is evenly split across the board so we’re looking forward to see how we match up.”
Warren County is scheduled to face Lincoln County this week, first at home Tuesday (results weren’t available at press time) and then on the road Thursday.
In the Shelbyville win, Ally Beneke was a force at the net with 20 kills. Mia Hobbs also was huge up front, adding nine kills and a block. Kennedi Pegg and Lydia Netherton continued splitting time at setter, with Pegg dishing out 15 assists and Netherton adding 13.
Jessie Young (14 digs), Marissa O’Hara (12 digs) and Hobbs (10 digs) patrolled the back line in the victory.
The Lady Pioneers looked poised to continue their winning ways Monday, racing out to a great start at Charlie Dalton Gym. The crowd was electric early, especially after the team had some highlight-reel plays.
Aleah Davis rocketed an ace and Jaelin Stovall had a diving save that led to a big point as Warren County went ahead 7-1. Beneke added some thunderous spikes while Hobbs and Emily Davis did their best to silence the Warriorettes with blocks, but Warren County let a 20-16 lead slip away as White County took the first set 25-22.
All the momentum went Sparta’s way from there as the Warriorettes took the next two sets 25-19 and 25-21.
“Finishing was the big thing we noticed and execution of the little stuff. It was not any one thing, but a bunch of small things,” said Blalock about Monday’s match.
Consistency was also an issue as the Lady Pioneers – playing a deep rotation with lots of talented players – couldn’t maintain the highest highs from the match.
“We have flashes. There were moments where they did everything exactly how we know they can and there were moments they didn’t – those outweighed the good moments,” said Blalock.
Thursday’s match against Lincoln County is slated to start at 5:30 p.m.
Freshmen looking solid
With an eye toward the future, coach Erin Blalock has been running a freshman program ever since taking over the volleyball team in 2020. Her youth movement looks like it is paying off as the young Lady Pioneers had big success over the weekend.
Warren County’s freshman team beat Coffee County, Covenant Christian and Grundy County in the Coffee County Junior Slam. The Lady Pioneers narrowly missed coming away with a championship, ultimately falling to Fayetteville in a three-set thriller during the finale.
“They really did well, especially because we were out two players. We adjusted the rotation quickly Saturday morning and they adjusted well,” said Blalock. “Some played positions they don’t regularly play and they were able to go out and play good volleyball. It’s all encouraging moving forward.”