The Bowling Green volleyball team is headed to the Region 4 Tournament for the first time since 2013, punching its ticket after a 3-2 (22-25, 25-14, 25-22, 25-27, 15-7) win over South Warren in the District 14 Tournament semifinals on Tuesday at South Warren High School.

Bowling Green (15-6) earned its first win over South Warren since 2017 to claim a spot in Wednesday’s District 14 championship game and advance to next week’s Region 4 Tournament at Russell County.

“It means everything,” BG senior Kenley Woodyard said. “We haven’t been able to beat them all my four years of playing for Bowling Green High School. For this to happen in my senior year, that’s pretty exciting.”

Keith Carver, Bowling Green’s acting coach with head coach Tim Sharp out after getting ejected in the regular-season finale, said the team got a monkey off its back with Tuesday’s win.

“I told the girls before we started this match that we weren’t writing the story, but we were writing a new chapter,” Carver said. “This is their chapter.”

Bowling Green and South Warren went back and forth all night, with South Warren (7-4) using a 5-1 spurt to rally from 21-20 down in the first set.

The Lady Purples came roaring back in the second set behind four kills from Charli Hodges and three kills by Elizabeth Maglinger to even the match at 1-all.

South Warren jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the third set, but Bowling Green battled back – scoring four of the last five points to move one set away from advancing.

The Spartans fought off elimination in the fourth set, despite a comeback by the Lady Purples. Bowling Green erased a 23-17 deficit with six straight points and fought off two set points before South Warren closed it out to force a fifth set.

The Lady Purples never trailed in the final set, scoring seven straight to break a 5-all tie and cruising from there.

“That’s been one of the hiccups with Bowling Green the last seven years is that people would fight back, but we fought through that tonight and really persevered,” Carver said. “That is a big maturity thing, the hump we were trying to get over coming into this.

“... I am just extremely proud. I’ve got three seniors that have never been to a region tournament. Still looking forward to tomorrow night when we play Greenwood. We are going to come out and give them a fight.”

Hodges led Bowling Green with 16 kills, while Maglinger added 15 kills.

“I can’t even describe how this feels,” Hodges said. “We have been working for this for years and to have it finally come to us, it is a feeling I can’t describe.

“... The seniors on this team are some of my best friends and I was not about to let them down tonight. We weren’t going home tonight without a fight.”

Maddie Rockrohr led South Warren with 15 kills, while Paige Logsdon added 11 kills.

The loss snaps a string of seven straight trips to the region title game for the Spartans, with three region titles in that span.

“We knew going into this season that it was going to be a tough battle throughout,” South Warren coach Lindsey Sheffield said. “We lost a lot of hitters last year and we needed a lot of girls to step up this season. We just couldn’t quite get everyone on at the same time consistently. Everybody had amazing games here and there, but we just needed to find some of that consistency. We just couldn’t do that tonight.”

Bowling Green will play Greenwood in the district championship game at 6 p.m. on Wednesday at South Warren High School.{&end}

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

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