Tasha Lovins remembers the last time she brought Ryle to play in the Jefferson County Invitational Volleyball Tournament, where 24 teams from all over the state compete over two days. Her Raiders lost in the championship game to Male High School a year ago.
“Male’s a great team; they beat us last year,” said Lovins. “We wanted to come in and prove a point against a good team, and we were able to.”
Ryle beat Whitefield, Butler and then Male on Saturday to ride home on I-71 with the championship trophy of the gold division playoffs. It topped Male in the final 25-17 and 25-18, falling behind early in both games before dominating the rest.
For Bill Payne’s Lady Bulldogs, it was the culmination of a taxing week. Taxing, but rewarding.
“It was a very good weekend,” he said. His team defeated Oldham County and North Oldham in three games to reach the final, then appeared to run out of gas.
“We finished strong in what was an emotional week. We had five straight games this week including Senior Night, and then this tournament this weekend. We had one player leave us early because of other responsibilities. I’m very proud of the girls. They played well.”
Payne gave high praise to players Kacy Clinkenbeard and Georgia O’Connell before handing out silver medals to his team and presenting them with their runner-up trophy.
North Oldham defeated Butler for third place in the gold division.
Meanwhile, Central Hardin defeated Owensboro Catholic in the final of the silver division as Christian Academy topped Eastern for third place. South Oldham beat Whitefield for fifth place and Oldham County beat Holy Cross for seventh.
In the bronze division, Green County topped Highlands in the championship. Fern Creek and Iroquois Park also competed, with Fern Creek taking seventh place.
Assumption rolls: Assumption defeated two Illinois schools, Joliet Catholic and Chicago Marist, and then cruised past in-state rival Notre Dame 25-14, 25-16 to win the Mother McAuley Asics Challenge in Chicago.
Coach Ron Kordes’ Rockets claimed the tournament championship for the 12th time in 17 years.