Centralia fights for five-set win in district semis, plays for championship Monday


Centralia volleyball will compete for a district title for the third straight season and had to overcome much on Thursday to earn the right. The Lady Panthers defeated Boonville in five sets (25-21, 25-23, 20-25, 16-25 and 15-8) in the Class 3 District 7 semifinals in Fulton to win their first five-set match in three tries, extend their winning streak to six matches, and advance to play host Fulton (18-4-1) at 5 p.m. Monday, who defeated Centralia (18-6) in five sets in August. 

Centralia won the second set but lost primary setter and the program's career assists leader Lexi Cook due to a knee injury. Caris Finlay filled in sufficiently to help the Lady Panthers bounce back after losing two straight sets as did Raegan Anderson's serving with back-to-back service aces in the fifth set and Ryenn Gordon securing the match point on an ace. Morgan Ross and Madilynn Hunter each led with nine kills, Gordon had seven kills and two aces, and Addison Mabrey had three blocks.

“Last year, at our end of the season meetings, I asked the girls (what was important) and they were like ‘conditioning,’” head coach Julie Crum said. “In the last couple weeks, I’ve really tried to put that on them with sprints. They were tired so we’ll do some more conditioning on Friday and Sunday to get ready for Monday.”

Look for the full story in the Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023, edition of the Mexico Ledger.