LOUISVILLE – Greenwood’s volleyball team opened the state tournament in dominant fashion with a 3-0 (25-11, 25-18, 25-13) win Friday over Henderson County at Valley High School.

Greenwood (38-2) used strong play at the net to wear down the Lady Colonels, advancing to Saturday morning’s quarterfinal.

“We played well at the net,” Greenwood coach Allen Whittinghill said. “We controlled the ball and we didn’t let anything hit the ground. I thought we were all over the place on defense … and did what we had to do.”

The Lady Gators used a fast start to take control and then held off Henderson County in the final two sets to complete the sweep.

Greenwood got kills from Annee Lasley and Olivia Overmohle to open the match, scoring the first five points in the first set.

Lasley tallied five of the Lady Gators’ 10 kills in the opening set, and Greenwood steadily pulled away to take a 1-0 lead in the match.

“It was a really good start for us, especially because it gave us momentum and helped (give us confidence),” Lasley said.

Henderson County (23-13) jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the second set, but Greenwood answered with three straight to tie the score at 4-all. The Lady Colonels regained the advantage four times – with the Lady Gators battling back to tie on each occasion – before Greenwood finally surged ahead 13-12 on a kill by Lasley.

Emma Loiars added two aces to extend the margin to 15-12. Henderson County scored the next two points to get within one, but the Lady Gators answered with five straight – including three kills from Katie Howard – to take control and propel Greenwood to a 2-0 lead in the match.

Henderson County led the early part of the third set before the Lady Gators used a 5-0 spurt to push ahead 9-6. Greenwood didn’t relinquish the lead. The advantage grew to as much as 12, with Howard’s kill clinching the match.

Howard and Lasley finished with 12 kills each. Greenwood finished with 32 kills, while Henderson County had 14 kills.

“I feel like we were very middle dominant today,” Howard said. “Our offense started out slow, but I feel like our defense really picked it up to help us stay in the game.”

Meg Gore added 27 assists and 12 digs for the Lady Gators.

“I always tell Meg that any time you get six digs or more, we are gonna win,” Whittinghill said. “She had some really nice digs too, some really hard balls she picked up.”

Greenwood will face the winner of Notre Dame-McCracken County – which were scheduled to play Friday afternoon – at 9 a.m. CST Saturday.{&end}

– Follow prep sports reporter Micheal Compton on Twitter @mcompton428 or visit bgdailynews.com.

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