AIKEN – South Aiken gifted its seniors another memorable win with a hint of revenge for good measure.
The Lady Thoroughbreds rode the intensity of a rivalry rematch to a 3-1 victory over Aiken on Monday night.
South Aiken honored its three seniors in style on senior night by securing a share of the top spot in Region 4-AAAA with its rival. The two split the regular-season series to share the championship for the second consecutive year.
“With senior night, a lot of emotions, you know we’re losing our three seniors,” South Aiken coach Cassie McKie said. “But we came out and we played above and beyond not only for them to have a great last home game for the regular season, but it was just a fabulous team effort.”
Aiken (32-9-1) won the previous meeting 3-0, so the Lady Hornets clinched the No. 1 seed in the playoffs by winning the second set Monday night and earning the tiebreaker. South Aiken (22-6-1) will enter the playoffs Thursday as the No. 2 seed.
“I think they played like they were afraid they were going to lose,” Aiken coach Malynda Young said. “You can’t play a ballgame like that. We made too many mistakes. Those kind of mistakes will get you.
“I was just OK once that second set was over.”
After battling back and forth early in the first set, South Aiken took over with a 7-0 run to win 25-17 and set the tone for the rest of the match.
Aiken charged back by starting the second set with a 9-3 advantage, but South Aiken responded by tying it at 15. The Lady Hornets then controlled the rest of the set by finishing on a 10-3 run for a 25-18 win.
The third set was the closest as the two teams battled back and forth. With South Aiken leading 17-15, a small run sparked the Lady Thoroughbreds to hold the lead and win 25-20 for a 2-1 advantage.
South Aiken controlled the fourth set throughout and cruised to a 25-15 win to clinch the match.
“They had been thirsty and very hungry for this win, because I know they were very disappointed when we matched up against them last time. Fabulous team effort,” McKie said.
Natalie Bolen and Emily Crenshaw teamed to terrorize the middle for South Aiken. Bolen totaled 19 kills and four blocks and Crenshaw chipped in 18 kills.
Zymbraya Corley led Aiken with 10 kills while Lily McCabe had nine.