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Lady Mustangs roll to sweep Tilghman

By Mike Stunson mstunson@paducahsun.com

Even with their dominance of the 1st Region, a win over city rival Paducah Tilghman remains sweet for the McCracken County volleyball team.

The Lady Mustangs coasted in their first match against a regional opponent this year this year on Tuesday, beating the Lady Blue Tornado in two sets (25-7, 25-8).

"It's definitely good to have someone you know you want to play against. Just like football, (Tilghman) is their rival," senior Jasmine Bennett said. "We still want to beat them every time we play them, just like the football team does."

Haylee Rhinehart's second kill of the game put the Lady Mustangs up 7-0 and forced Tilghman to burn a timeout. They made it 7-1 following that timeout, but McCracken came back with the next six points.

Five of those points came via aces from Alyssa McKinney. McCracken coach Tim Whitis was able to go to his bench late in the set, with Kathleen Corrigan's ace giving McCracken the set win.

Bennett made her presence known early in the second set, as she had kills for three of the first seven points to put the Lady Mustangs up 7-1. She added two more in the set to give her seven kills for the match.

Two aces from Rhinehart gave the Lady Mustangs the 10-1 lead, and they didn't let up as backup setter Lilly Coiner had four assists late in the set to put the match away. Coiner had six assists in the match, while starter Hannah Parker had 10.

Whitis said he liked what he saw out of his younger players, who he gave extended playing time to late in each set.

"We have a lot of younger kids who are really coming along," he said. "It's helping them to see a lot of the older girls play, and them knowing what to expect when they get older."

Seven different Lady Mustangs recorded kills in the contest, led by Bennett's seven.  Two of those players were freshman Cate Hyde and sophomore Sierra English, who impressed Whitis.

"Sierra is one that is really working and trying to come on," Whitis said. "And the freshman Cate Hyde, she is doing well on the freshman and JV teams and played a good match for us tonight."

Since the school's formation last year, McCracken has not dropped a set to any region opponents.

McCracken will be playing in its second tournament of the year this weekend, as it goes to the Bluegrass Invitational where it will face Scott County and Whitefield Academy in pool play.

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