CHARLOTTESVILLE — The Greenfield-Central/Eastern Hancock matchup is quickly becoming the most intense local rivalry on the volleyball court.
In the Hancock County Tourney semifinals Saturday morning, the Cougars trailed by as many as 10 points in the opening set and six points late in the second set, only to rally for a 26-24, 25-21 victory.
G-C went on to defeat Mt. Vernon 25-14, 25-22 to capture its first county title since 2009.
Six weeks ago in a tension-filled regular season match, the Cougars edged the Royals 21-25, 25-14, 25-22, 25-20.
A pair of former Cougars are suiting up for the Royals, who are enjoying one of the best seasons in program history, entering the tourney at 19-5. Just as in the Aug. 26 battle, the improved Class 2A Eastern Hancock squad was prepared to push 4A G-C again Saturday, and the Royals jumped to a 17-7 lead in Set 1.
“It’s no secret that it was a huge emotional match for both sides,” Cougars coach Rita Rouse said. “And we talked about that, not to get caught up in the emotion: ‘We have to stay focused on what we needed to do.’ And then we came out so unbelievably flat, couldn’t do two things right in a row.”