Lady Senators clinch top seed in area tournament

Published 5:34 pm Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Morgan Academy Senators football team isn’t the only program at the school enjoying a successful season.

The Lady Senators volleyball team clinched the top seed in the AISA-AA Region 2 Area 2 standings after its win against Russell Christian this past Thursday.

The team is 13-3 with a 4-1 area record going into its final matches of the regular season.

Finishing at the top of its area sets the Lady Senators up to be the top seed in the area tournament, which begins on Oct. 23.

“They’ve really started to work together over the second half of the season more than they did in the first half, and that resulted in some big wins,” Morgan Academy head volleyball coach Kayla Thacker said. “Playing together helped them get over the hump and actually come out with wins in tough games.”

The Lady Senators improved upon last season’s record, and the challenging teams on the schedule brought out the best in the players.

“I think that the other, tougher games that we’ve played set us up pretty well to fight hard for our region,” Thacker said. “Every time you go into a region game, it’s a little tenser than a regular season game and I think it drives the girls to be more focused in those games so they can come out with a win.

“I think all the girls in general have grown a lot this last year. They were a good team when I came to Morgan three years ago,” she said. “They were an even better team last year, and this year, I think they’re even better this season than they were the past two years… Each year they improve more and more due to the hard work they put in outside of the season and during the season.”

Morgan Academy won’t host the area tournament, but will play against the No. 4 seed on Oct. 23.

In the AISA, at least for one more year, the area tournament host is alternated each year. The odd-digit area hosts during the even numbered year, according to Thacker.

That first game in the area tournament is a must-win game in order for the team to advance to the playoffs.

“The thing about the volleyball region is that you have to win the first game in order to make it to state,” she said. “It sets us up pretty good that we’re No. 1 in the region, but we’ve got to win that first one in order to go to the playoffs.”

After the initial game in the area tournament, two more matches must be played in order to determine seeding for the Elite Eight.