Daviess County had to rally in the third set, but the Lady Panthers prevailed 3-0 over Apollo in the first round of the 9th District Volleyball Tournament.

DC won 25-12, 25-21, 28-26 on Monday at the Owensboro Catholic gym.

DC advanced to the 9th District championship game on Thursday against the winner of Owensboro Catholic and Owensboro, which will be played Tuesday night.

The Lady Panthers are 18-9.

“I feel like we came out really strong,” DC coach Tyla Bailey said. “Like every game, we had some low moments, but we were able to finish, I was pleased with the fight we had all throughout the match.

“Out of system was really good. Once we got started, our blocking got a little bit better. We’re getting better at being aggressive at the net, pressing up and pressing over. Collectively, we were clicking when it counted.”

DC won the first set with an 8-0 run with Josie Newcom serving.

DC got out to an 18-10 lead in the second set but found itself having to scratch some to close it out after Apollo had gotten within 23-20.

Apollo got rolling early in the third set and built a 13-5 lead before DC began working its way back into contention. Kayla Thomson was serving during a 6-1 run, which got DC within two, 14-12.

Apollo got going again behind two kills from Havanah John, and it held a 22-17 lead before DC put on another push.

Apollo had set point at 24-20 before DC scored the next five points to go up 25-24. Apollo got back up 26-25, then DC went ahead 27-26. A Newcom kill ended the match with a 28-26 third-set win.

Adylan Ayer had 10 kills to lead Daviess County. Ayer also had five blocks and three service aces. Sydney DeRossitt had eight kills. Newcom had six kills and four aces.

Lexi Owen had 30 assists, six blocks and five digs. Mary Grace Hill had seven kills.

“Props to Apollo, they always come out with a lot of energy, which can be intimidating,” Bailey said. “Momentum was on our side and we tried to keep it as much as we could.”

Apollo went through spells where it hit well but then went cold.

“We preached do the small things right, stay behind the ball, fast read and swing,” Bailey said. “We had some high moments, we did some good hitting things, but then we also had on the opposite end. If we can piece that together, I feel like on Thursday we’ll be in a good place.

Apollo finished 14-22.

The E-Gals were led by John’s 13 kills. Maddi Boswell had nine kills. Ava Fazio had five blocks. Ahalia Ramirez had 22 assists and two service aces. Abby Spong had 11 digs. Kaley Dickinson and Kelsey Dickinson each had nine digs.

“There was no lack of effort,” Apollo coach Mary Howard said. “They can hold their heads high, they battled. Daviess County is a great team with a lot of firepower. At times, we were able to make runs, but we weren’t able to sustain it. They serve aggressive, they attack aggressive. They were able to stay offensively aggressive.

“The third set, we were able to make some aggressive serving runs. We got some blocks, we put together a good run early, but we weren’t able to hold them off.

“I’m proud of our girls, I think we had a lot of development.”

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