Greenwood volleyball advances to state semis with win over Central Hardin

Greenwood's Courtney Smith (right) spikes the ball Saturday over Central Hardin's  Cheyenne Mills (left) and Alneisha Butler during the quarterfinals of the KHSAA State Volleyball Tournament in Louisville. Joshua Lindsey/Special to the Daily News

Greenwood's Courtney Smith (right) spikes the ball Saturday over Central Hardin's Cheyenne Mills (left) and Alneisha Butler during the quarterfinals of the KHSAA State Volleyball Tournament in Louisville. Joshua Lindsey/Special to the Daily News

LOUISVILLE – The Greenwood volleyball team was tested early in its quarterfinal matchup Saturday with Central Hardin at the KHSAA State Volleyball Tournament, but the Lady Gators forged ahead for a 2-0 (25-23, 25-19) win in Knights Hall at Bellarmine University.

Greenwood (26-16) will play North Oldham in the semifinals at 1 p.m. CDT. The match will be the Lady Gators’ second semifinals appearance ever, the first coming in 2006.

No public school has ever reached the finals, but that will change this year with all of the tournament’s private schools on the same side of the bracket.

North Oldham beat Allen Central earlier Saturday to advance to the final four.

“We’re going to need some momentum in the next one,” Greenwood coach Holly Whittinghill said. “North Oldham’s a good team, and we’re going to need to play much more solid and with fewer mistakes.”

Greenwood fell behind 23-21 in the first set Saturday morning but responded with a 4-0 run to close it out.

Central Hardin again led early in the second set at 6-3, but the Lady Gators scored five straight points and eight of the last 11.

“I felt like we were a little bit sloppy with our play,” Whittinghill said. “We were still playing a little bit nervous and not executing our block like we should, but we made plays when they mattered. I’m very happy we’re heading to the semifinals.”

Senior outside hitter Courney Smith had 14 kills and four aces against the Lady Bruins, and junior outside hitter Samantha Mosher finished with seven kills and three aces.

Senior setter Taylor Faulkner had 22 assists, and sophomore defensive specialist Abby Taylor added six digs.

North Oldham, the Region 8 champion, is 30-8 this season.

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