The Coffee County volleyball team began its postseason run on Thursday night at the district tournament in Shelbyville. The Lady Raiders started off with a 3-0 shutout over Columbia in the semifinals, but couldn't get past Lincoln County in the finals and lost 3-1.
"I thought our girls came in and played their best volleyball of the year," Coach Andrew Taylor said. "They gave themselves a chance to win a district championship and just came up a little short."
Coffee County tames Lady Lions 3-0 in semis
The Lady Raiders kicked off the night with a semifinal match against the Columbia Central Lady Lions. Having just lost to Columbia two weeks prior, Coffee County got out of the lion's den this time in a shutout win.
CHS kept the game in their control for much of the first set. After keeping it close during the first few points, the Lady Raiders began to run away with it. Coffee County won the set 25-16.
Columbia kept it closer in the second, with both teams maintaining small leads at different points. Coffee County High School was able to scrape by with a 25-22 win off a string of aces from sophomore Keri Munn and hard-hitting shots from fellow sophomore Lexi Bryan.
CHS continued to keep the Lady Lions in check in the third set. Minus a small push near the close, the Lady Raiders stayed ahead in a 25-19 set win and a 3-0 match victory.
Munn led the team in aces with five. Bryan and freshman Kiya Ferrell each had 11 kills. Junior Amanda Mukai recorded 21 assists.
Lady Raiders fall to Lady Falcons in final
Just 15 minutes after sending Columbia on their way, Coffee County was back on the court to play Lincoln County for a district title.
In the first set the Lady Raiders jumped off to an early lead. The Lady Falcons kept it close until Coffee County broke out halfway through. A final kill from Ferrell gave CHS the first set 25-16.
In the second the Lady Raiders again started off in front of the Lady Falcons. The Lincoln County offense came alive not long after and eventually overtook CHS for the lead. It was another 25-16 final score, but this time with the Lady Falcons on top.
Lincoln County didn't surrender another set, winning the third 25-20.
Coffee County put up a fight in the final set, getting ahead of the Lady Falcons early on and battling throughout. Near the close of the set, the Lady Raiders found themselves in a 22-14 hole. Over the next several points the girls forced their way back to make it a 24-23 game with a chance to tie and take the lead.
The Lady Falcons stopped Coffee County's advance on the next point and won the set 25-23. This made them the match's victor.
Mukai led the Lady Raiders in aces with three. Bryan followed up on her semifinal performance with 15 kills. Junior Keelie Hillis had 18 assists.
"It was a great effort. They left it all out there on the court," Coach Taylor said. "I'm proud of our girls."