East sweeps county rivals; NB and BC meet Thursday

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By Mike Farner

 SHEPHERDSVILLE – Coming off a disappointing effort four nights earlier, the Bullitt East Lady Chargers got back in winning form on Monday as they rolled past a struggling Bullitt Central team 25-9, 25-12, 25-12.

The win came six days after Bullitt East had gone on the road and beat North Bullitt in five games, taking the final game 15-13. In that match, the Lady Chargers played without two key starters. That led into a district loss to Whitefield Academy on Thursday in Jefferson County by a 25-10, 26-24, 25-13 count.

Bullitt East was back at full strength on Monday and it showed as they scored nine of the first ten points of the match and then kept the accelerator pushed to the floor against their county rivals.

“The girls played well,” Bullitt East head coach Ed Fisher said after a short meeting with his team on the court. “Then I got some subs in who hadn’t played much and hopefully that will pay dividends for us later in the season.”

Bullitt East got off to the quick start as 8th-grader Lexi Fisher, the coaches’ daughter, served three ‘aces’ as she pushed her team to a 4-0 lead. After a point by Bullitt Central, the Lady Chargers scored six straight points including a pair of ‘aces’ from freshman Sydney Riley.

The only stretch during which the Lady Chargers trailed in this match came early in the second game. Bullitt Central jumped out to a 6-4 advantage, but Bullitt East then ripped off the next 10 points on the serve of senior Shelby Graham and they never looked back.

In the third game, Bullitt East had an 18-2 lead before coasting to the win.

“My starting middle and libero didn’t play against North Bullitt,” Fisher said. “We did play better tonight. I told the girls that we didn’t expect both to be out. We went from a 6-2 to a 5-1 on the fly. One of my setters shifted over and played libero.

“We had everybody tonight and we played as a team,” the coach added. “Now if we can just show it tomorrow and get back from being on the road.”

Bullitt East was to play Brown at home on Tuesday of this week and then take on Fern Creek in the final district match of the regular season. Bullitt East has not played at home since Aug. 26 against Mercy, the state’s top-ranked team.

For Bullitt Central it was a bitter pill to swallow. The school allowed students into the match for free and there was a large and loud section of students when the match started. Unfortunately, that might have worked against the girls on this night.

“The girls were not mentally ready to play,” Bullitt Central head coach Katie VanVactor said after a long meeting with her team. “I think we did everything we could to prepare for this match. It was last minute. They were distracted by what was going on and lost it at the end.

“I don’t think they were intimidated, but they were distracted by what was going on,” the coach added. “They weren’t as mentally prepared as they should have been.”

Bullitt Central will travel to Mount Washington on Monday, Oct. 7 for a rematch with the Lady Chargers.

First, the Lady Cougars have an important match on Thursday at North Bullitt. While it is the first of two meetings within ten days of each other for the two district rivals, the contest on Thursday is the more important of the two as this is the contest that will be used in the seeding for the 23rd District Tournament in October.

Thursday’s match will start at 5:30 p.m. with the freshmen teams playing while the varsity match will start at around 7:30 p.m.

BE slips past NB

It took all of five games last Tuesday for Bullitt East to pick-up a victory against North Bullitt. The final scores were 18-25, 16-25, 25-8, 25-18, 15-13.

“They played a great game and brought it to us,” Fisher said. “With our injuries, we were fortunate to gut it out. Fortunately, it won’t be that close on Senior Night (when North Bullitt plays at Bullitt East on Oct. 17).”

While this was the first ‘regular season’ meeting between the two rivals this season, it was not the first time they had been on the same court. Fisher has known new North Bullitt head coach Scott Whitlow for a number of years so the two teams scrimmaged each other in Mount Washington before the season began.

The disappointing loss for Bullitt East was the match in between their two county rivals as they lost to Whitefield Academy on Thursday. Still, it appears that the two teams will meet in the 24th District semi-finals if Bullitt East can beat Fern Creek on Thursday. That semi-final meeting would keep BE and Whitefield from facing top-ranked Mercy until the district final where both teams would advance to the Sixth Region Tournament

Before playing the two matches last week, Fisher thought his team was playing very well after they won five straight matches in the Hillard Lyons Classic at Elizabethtown High School. Bullitt East beat the host school twice in that event including the final match to win the championship.

Bullitt Central also played in that event but failed to win a match in five outings. Four of the five contests did go to a third game (they were playing best of three in the tourney).

North Bullitt Gaining

Heading into Thursday’s match with Bullitt Central, North Bullitt seems to be picking up some steam with Whitlow as the green and gold have a 7-11 record.

Most of the losses came in two tournaments. North Bullitt went 2-3 in the First Spike Tournament at the Ohio Valley Volleyball Center on Aug. 31 and then then the team went 1-5 in the Queens of the Court event at Central Hardin High School.

After those two events, North Bullitt had the tough loss to Bullitt East and then they crushed district rival Southern 25-7, 25-19. Both North Bullitt and Bullitt Central are undefeated in district play heading into Thursday’s showdown.