The Caldwell County volleyball team closed out its regular-season schedule Saturday with a home double-header, beating Todd Co. Central and Warren East by twin scores of 3-1.
In the Todd Co. Central match, the Lady Tigers (15-5) got off to a slow start, falling 25-13 in the first set, but they soon got things going, closing out the match 25-16, 25-13, 25-17.
Senior outside hitter Olivia Mitchell had a team-high 17 kills in the match, while senior middle blocker Abby Griggs had 16. Mitchell and Griggs each rejected three blocks at the net.
Senior setter Kendyll Prowell handed out 39 assists for the Lady Tigers.
From the baseline, CCHS served up 15 aces in the match, let by six from junior defensive specialist Adison Sullenger and five from senior libero Riley Thomas.
On defense, Thomas had a team-high 13 digs, while Mitchell had 11.
Against Warren East, Caldwell County took the match 25-21, 25-20, 23-25, 25-11.
Mitchell had another double-double, scoring a team-high 23 kills to go with 12 digs.
Griggs added 13 kills and two aces, while Prowell had eight kills, a team-high 43 assists, nine digs and two aces.
At the net, Griggs had a team-high four blocks, while junior right-side hitter Savannah Scott had three and junior middle blocker Kynady Thomas had two
Thomas had a team-high 17 digs, while junior outside hitter Mary Tays had 10.
During the match, Mitchell surpassed 1,000 career digs for CCHS, joining Thomas on the 1,000 digs list. Earlier this season, Mitchell notched her 1,000th career kill.
A dig is when a team keeps the ball in play after an opponent has made an attack with the ball, which can come as a hard smack or a light tip over the net.
“It feels good,” Mitchell said of gaining her 1,000th dig. “Riley got her 1,000th dig recently (against Bowling Green), so it’s really nice to be breaking (milestones) with your friends.”
CCHS head coach Daniel Cortner said the two players’ milestones are unique to CCHS volleyball history. Jesse Stone, who graduated in 2013, is the only other Lady Tiger to reach 1,000 kills. Mitchell stands at 1,778 career kills.
“We’ve had a great line of liberos, with Taylor Whalen graduating three years ago,” he said. “That opened up the libero spot for Riley, and with Riley taking over at libero, she certainly has had the worker’s load back here.
“Olivia’s big thing is — when people look at our lineup — they want to take her out physically. So, front row, back row, they’re making her do a lot of passing and a lot of digging.”
Caldwell County, as the top seed in the District 7 Tournament with a 2-0 regular-season district mark, will face the winner of Tuesday’s match between Madisonville-North Hopkins (14-4) and tournament host Hopkins Co. Central (3-7). The Lady Tigers will play at 6 p.m. Thursday.
Should they win that match — and the tournament — CCHS would host a first-round match in the Second Region Tournament. District tournament champions are hosting the first-round matches, with the semifinals and final rounds to be played at Christian County.