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Black Monday - Regional volleyball is a short week

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By Mike Farner

 SHEPHERDSVILLE – What was hoped to be a long week for Bullitt County volleyball teams, turned into a short week as all three of the local teams lost on Monday in the first-round of the Sixth Region Tournament.

Bullitt East has had the strongest team in Bullitt County this fall and coming off a win over Whitefield Academy in the 24th District Tournament before falling to Mercy in the final, the Lady Chargers appeared poised for a deep run this week.

It didn’t happen. The Lady Chargers got the toughest draw possible, facing 21st District champion Holy Cross on Monday. The Lady Cougars are the only team other than Mercy ranked among the top 25 teams in the state.

Bullitt East had none of the fire that they had in the district tournament, dropping a 25-16, 25-12, 25-10 match that took less than 75 minutes.The only team with a home contest on Monday was North Bullitt coming off their championship in the 23rd District Tournament. The Lady Eagles opened with a strong game against Doss, winning 25-12, but then lost the momentum and the match, losing the next three games 25-12, 25-22, 25-23.

Bullitt Central was also on the road on Monday, traveling to Dixie Highway to take on Butler, the 22nd District champions. The first regional trip for most of the Lady Cougars ended in a 25-10, 25-13, 25-16 score.

“The girls did not show up tonight at all,” Bullitt East head coach Ed Fisher said after a short meeting with his team after the match. “Maybe it is this gym. We’ve played four of our worst games of the season here.”

Bullitt East had lost to Holy Cross 26-24, 25-15 back in the first two weeks of the season, but the Lady Chargers had lost a player just before that match. In addition, this time around the red and gold had won 15 of their previous 16 matches, having won 17 more matches than Holy Cross this season.

“I was as surprised as anyone,” Fisher said of the uninspired effort. “We had a good warm-up. I had high hopes. I had scheduled the gym for practice tomorrow.

“Even in the loss to Mercy we had played well,” the coach added. “I was pleased with the way we had been playing.”

Bullitt East finished the season with a 27-10 record.

North Bullitt, under first-year head coach Scott Whitlow, was coming off a second straight 23rd District title and last year had advanced to the Sixth Region semi-finals. That just didn’t repeat this season as Doss, a much improved team, won for the 21st time this season despite finishing as the runner-up in the 22nd District.

North Bullitt had beaten the Lady Dragons in straight games back on Sept. 18 at home.

Bullitt Central had played in consecutive regional tournaments in 2010 and 2011, but had missed the event last year when they were rebuilding.

“Some of the girls were disappointed in the loss Thursday night against North so for some it was difficult to mentally prepare for the match against Butler,” Bullitt Central head coach Katie VanVactor said. “Most of the girls saw it as a great opportunity that many teams in the history of our program have not had which is the chance to go and compete at regionals.”

Bullitt Central finished the season with an 11-22 record. The Lady Cougars won just five matches last season.