Lexie Barnes

Cosby senior Lexie Barnes (20) hits the ball over a South Greene defender at the net during Tuesday’s Region 1-A Semifinals at South Greene High Schoo.

GREENEVILLE—South Greene moved another step closer to its 13th consecutive state tournament.

Once again, the region semifinal hurdle came at Cosby’s expense.

The Lady Rebels defeated Cosby in straight sets in Tuesday’s Region 1-A semifinal round on Rebel Hill (25-8, 25-6, 25-9). It marked the second straight year South Greene has ended Cosby’s volleyball season in the region semifinals.

Cosby did grab an early two-point lead in the third set. Chesnie Barnes’ block and a Lexie Barnes kill gave the Lady Eagles their first lead of the night.

But not for long. South Greene (35-3) rallied with four straight points for a 6-4 advantage and led the rest of the way. Another Chesnie Barnes block marked Cosby’s final point that didn’t come on a South Greene error. A service ace by Lexie Miller ended the match.

The loss marked the final high school volleyball match for seniors Chesnie Barnes, Lexie Barnes and Maddie Jenkins. It also ended Cosby’s first year under head coach Taylor Halcomb — who praised Lexie Barnes, Chesnie Barnes, Katie Myers and Shylee Weeks for their improvement.

“We’ve improved the most on attacking the ball,” Halcomb said. “Missing serves has also reduced over the course of the season, and we have some strong servers (in Myers and Scout McMahan).”

McMahan served an ace in the second set, helping Cosby close the gap to 9-2. But South Greene steadily pulled away from there.

Lexie Barnes served an ace in the opening set to make it 10-3. The Lady Rebels led 17-7 before scoring the next seven points.

Even in defeat, Halcomb did take note of where Cosby’s returning players need the most improvement for future success.

“South Greene is a good team, but we did not play as hard as we could have,” Halcomb said. “We need to work on our energy and bond. The girls have to work better as a team and not individuals.”

Shortly after defeating the Lady Eagles, South Greene won in straight sets over North Greene (25-12, 25-13, 25-12) to clinch its 14th region championship in 15 years.

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