A night after playing a five-set thriller against White County, the Warren County High School volleyball team was back on the court Tuesday to play the Cookeville Lady Cavaliers in the District 6-AAA tournament championship.
For the second straight season, the Lady Pioneers came up one win short of the title as Cookeville won in straight sets 25-21, 25-10 and 25-20.
It was the third straight year Cookeville has claimed the title as the Lady Cavaliers have gone undefeated in District 6-AAA since its formation before the 2009 school year.
Coach Franklin Fisher wasn’t disappointed with his team’s play, but did notice some mental errors on Tuesday the Lady Pioneers avoided the night before.
“A sequence of misses while receiving serves put us in a deep hole mentally as well as on the scoreboard in the second set,” said Fisher. “It was something we didn’t do much against White County. We only had one service error on Monday in five games.”
While the errors piled up in the second game and ultimately led to the Lady Pioneers losing their 12th game of the year, Warren County was up to the task in the first game.
Cookeville came in thinking it could cruise against the Lady Pioneers, especially since the Lady Cavaliers senior-laden team has never lost to Warren County, but the first set showed the defending champs were in for a battle.
The Lady Pioneers battled Cookeville to a stalemate in the first game, with neither team taking more than a two-point lead through the first 40 points.
With the game tied 20-20, the small mistakes started to show up for Warren County. Two straight serves from Cookeville were never returned and the Lady Pioneers started to unravel at the end of the first game.
Warren County couldn’t seem to shake off the small collapse in the first game as Cookeville ran away with the next set.
The Lady Pioneers came back and gave Cookeville another challenge in the third game, but fell five points short of sending the game into extra sets.
For coach Fisher, the first and third sets proved his team can compete with anybody.
“I was proud of our effort in the first and third sets,” said Fisher. “Cookeville proved why it is undefeated in district play. Now it’s on to regionals where we’ll be playing Soddy Daisy.”
Advancing to the District 6-AAA tournament finals gave the Lady Pioneers their second straight bid to the regionals. Just like last season, Warren County will travel to Soddy Daisy to face the Lady Trojans.
The Lady Pioneers lost last season’s match and were defeated by Soddy Daisy earlier this season. If Warren County hopes to extend its season, and get one win closer to the school record of 34, the Lady Pioneers will have to snap their two-game losing streak to Soddy Daisy.
Warren County, which has won 32 games this season, will take on the Lady Trojans at 5 p.m. on Monday.