HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Hancock volleyball coach Rick Rechtien told WLOX on Monday that his Lady Hawks were playing their best volleyball of the season and it came at the right now, the Class III South State finals.
Hancock had the home court advantage and faced a highly talented team in Oak Grove.
The No. 2 ranked Lady Warriors are led by junior standout Breleigh Favre, the daughter of former NFL great Brett Favre. Her kill ended game one and propelled Oak Grove to a thrilling 25-23 win.
The Lady Hawks would come through and netted a 25-18 victory in game two, lost 25-27 to Oak Grove in the third game and faced a must-win in game four.
Hancock delivered, coming through with a 25-21 decision over the Lady Warriors. That set the stage for the fifth and deciding game. The winner in a game five must reach 15 points and win by two. Oak Grove and Hancock went back and forth and in the end, the Lady Hawks flew under the win column with a 16-14 victory and eliminated Oak Grove in the South State finals for the second consecutive year.
Rylee Swilley came through with key kills. Karrington Perkins a sophomore also excelled on the court Tuesday night helping Hancock to advance to the Class III State Volleyball finals on Saturday. The Lady Hawks (24-10) will face Desoto Central in the championship match.
In another volleyball match in Hancock County, Our Lady Academy hosted rival Resurrection in the Class I South State Volleyball finals. The Crescents are the three-time defending State Champions but knew their match against Resurrection would go right down to the wire.
The Lady Eagles under head coach Keith Tucker jumped out quickly and would win the first two games by the identical score of 25-18.
Coach Mike Myers and his Crescents had their backs up against the net. Sophomore sensation Emma Funk would help propel OLA back into contention...helping lead the Crescents to a 25-23 victory in game three and netted a 25-20 win in game four.
Momentum was on the side of OLA as the fifth and final deciding game was ready to get underway. Resurrection, who lost twice to the Crescents during the regular season, jumped out to the lead and it looked as if the Lady Eagles would finally get over the hump and eliminate OLA.
That's when the Crescents rallied and Emma Funk would deliver the game winner on her 37th kill, as she leaped and powered the ball onto the court...OLA advances once again to the State Finals with a 16-14 decision.
Coach Mike Myers, the OLA players and a strong group of St. Stanislaus students rushed onto the court in celebration.
Myers said, "This is a match that neither team should have lost. But I'm extremely proud of my girls the way they hung in there. We came back when things were really down and they showed a lot of fortitude."
"It feels great to finally work this hard and get what we deserved, "stated Funk. "So, I'm really proud of my team."
It was a tough loss for Resurrection. The Lady Eagles closed out a super season ending the year with a 28-5-1 record.
The 2015 OLA Crescents (23-12) advance to the Class I Championship final on Saturday, a date with St. Andrews.