Franklin County fought to ruin the celebration, but the Lady Pioneers made sure three seniors got the proper send-off.
Warren County took down the visiting Lady Rebels 19-25, 25-13, 25-7, 23-25 and 15-5 on a night where Beth Vaughn, Hannah Lee and Taylor Pegg played their last home games.
It was the third win in as many nights at Charlie Dalton Gym for the Lady Pioneers, who fought off some early struggles to keep their winning streak intact.
“We played with no energy, but we were able to pull out the win,” said coach Kelly Clayborne.
Thursday’s match was the first time Vaughn, Lee and Pegg were on the court together when the match started. Pegg has missed the last several weeks due to illness, while Lee has spent most of the season with the junior varsity squad.
Clayborne made sure to give her seniors some time on their big night.
“Senior night is always special. It gives us time to pay tribute to all the hard work and dedication that is put into playing volleyball,” said Clayborne. “All three have kept us laughing and bring something different to the team.
“I was happy that Taylor was able to start her last match as a Lady Pioneer. T-Puff has such a laid back personality and is a positive leader on the court. Hannah always gives 100 percent in everything. Beth has become a leader and captain and has such a competitive drive.”
Pegg started senior night on the service line before being subbed out after the first point. Lee followed moments later, with both getting big ovations when they left the court.
Vaughn went the whole way, keeping her team afloat while being overwhelmed with emotion.
“It was such a bittersweet moment. It was heart breaking to think that it was the last time I would play on our home court,” said Vaughn. “I’m so thankful I got to do it with not only my teammates, but my best friends. Being able to play on this team for the past four years has been such a blessing.”
Warren County was able to shake off a rocky start to dominate the second and third sets. Samantha Jennings helped turn the tide in the second set, slamming four consecutive spikes at one point to deflate the Lady Rebels. It was part of a big night for the junior, who finished with 18 kills, 11 digs and four blocks - “Sam carried us,” said Clayborne.
Franklin County was able to steal a close fourth set, but the Lady Pioneers slammed the door in the fifth set to improve to 15-16 this season.
Vaughn finished with nine digs and nine kills in her final home match. Madison Hollis and Mea Starkey were lethal serving, finishing with eight and seven aces, respectively.
Warren County will take part in the District 6AAA tournament this week.