McKenzie McCollum has been working diligently to prepare her team for the first round of the 20th District Volleyball Tournament. McCollum and her Adair County Lady Indians will begin the postseason tonight (Monday) with Marion County.
The task is tall for ACHS. The Lady Indians go into the tournament with a 4-9 slate while Marion County takes a 16-2 tally into the contest.
“We’re talking to them right now about how everyone has a clean slate going into the tournament,” said McCollum, who put the Lady Indians through their paces for a weekend practice. “We have to go into this with a strong focus and realize everyone is 0-0.”
Adair County will face Marion County at 5:30 p.m. CT at Campbellsville High School. Taylor County and Campbellsville will play Tuesday with the championship game slated for Wednesday. Each game is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. CT. ACHS was originally scheduled to host the district tournament before giving way to CHS due to COVID-19 issues.
“Each time we’ve played them I have noticed their two outsides (Addison Gordon and Emma Sullivan) are the main hitters,” McCollum said about Marion County. “That is where most of their points come from. So we’ve been working to make sure our back row is sound, knowing how to read their (Marion County players) bodies and their hands.”
Sullivan is the big swinger with 194 kills over 18 games for an average of 3.5 kills per outing. Gordon, on the other hand, has 172 kills in 14 contests for an average of 3.8 putdowns per game.
Adair County heads into the battle well rested. The Lady Indians have had each of their last three matches canceled because of the coronavirus. Adair County hasn’t actually played in a competitive match since Oct. 5.
“It is a good feeling to have had this time off to practice and get better,” McCollum explained. “We’ve been able to practice, and I think the week off has helped us. It has given us a chance to recover from some injuries. However, it is good to know we’re finally going to get to play against someone other than ourselves.”
And the ACHS girls are chomping at the bit to do just that. Briley Burns and Kylie Cowan have provided most of the punch for ACHS, while Burns has also stood out on defense with 34 total kills. Rachel Brown has given McCollum a strong performance along the backline with 42 digs.
“Briley is a sophomore and she has shown great leadership skills on and off the court,” McCollum said. “When she is in the game, we play much better. Rachel Brown has done a great job of getting to the ball and placing it where it needs to be. She is really smart about where the ball is going.”
McCollum added that a victory over Marion County would not only move the Lady Indians into the tournament finals, but also give the ACHS program a big push forward.
“The victory would mean a lot to me, the girls and the school,” the coach said. “A win would be the next step in the building of this program.”