Centralia takes first set, loses district title to Fulton


Centralia volleyball looked to make history on Monday night in the Class 3 District 7 tournament championship match but came up short. The Lady Panthers won the first set 25-20 but then lost the final three sets 27-25, 25-18 and 25-19 to Fulton to earn the program's third straight second-place finish but miss out on the first district title in program history.

The Lady Panthers lost six of the final seven points of the second set as hitting the ball over became a struggle and then unforced errors piled up in the following sets.

Still, Centralia finished 18-7 for the second-best record in the 18 years of the program, which was only bested by the 20-8 record from two years. The seven-senior group that includes Morgan Ross, Katie Carrico, Lexi Cook, Carley Hombs, Raegan Anderson, Julie Baxter and Harper Forshee helped Centralia go 52-29 for the program's best three-run ever. Ross capped a career that included her setting the program career kills and blocks records, adding 13 kills and seven blocks on Monday, Ryenn Gordon followed with 10 kills, and Madilynn Hunter had five kills and two service aces. Katie Carrico owns the match, season and career digs record in the two years of varsity she played, and Lexi Cook has the career assists record despite being out Monday with an injury.

"It's a record-breaking group," head coach Julie Crum said. "We just didn't make history tonight, but looking back at the girls, they did some phenomenal things. I'm proud of them every single second of every single day. That will never end beyond volleyball."

Look for the full story in the Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023, edition of the Mexico Ledger.