FRANKFORT — No surprises Tuesday night as Henry Clay and Lexington Catholic rolled to victory in the first round of the girls' 11th Region volleyball tournament.
Sixth-ranked Henry Clay dominated Bryan Station 25-9, 25-13.
No. 15 Catholic handled host Franklin County 25-11, 25-15.
Wednesday's semifinals will match Monday victors Paul Laurence Dunbar and Scott County at 6 p.m., followed by Henry Clay versus Catholic.
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"I'd like to believe that we're ranked for a reason," Henry Clay Coach Dale Grupe said. "We're one of the top teams in the state. I think we match up with about anybody in the state. I know they've had a real solid year, too. I definitely like our chances."
Mark McCloskey, coach of the Lady Knights, knows the going will be tough.
"We've got a big task ahead of us tomorrow night," he said. "The key for us is always — it doesn't matter who we're playing — serving, passing and defense. I think that speaks to volleyball in general, but especially in our case. We're not very big, so we don't have other ways to win matches."
No. 6 Henry Clay 2, Bryan Station 0: Rachel Murphy's kill to open play gave Bryan Station its only lead of the night.
With Mikayla Reese dominating at the net, Henry Clay scored the next eight points and was never threatened.
"We've played them before," Reese said. "We didn't want to underestimate them, so we wanted to come out and take it like we would if it was the finals."
Bryan Station (24-12) had a 10-match winning streak snuffed. The Lady Defenders had won 15 of 16 matches but fell to Henry Clay for the third time this season.
The Defenders didn't go without a fight, though, cutting a 4-0 deficit to 5-4.
But Henry Clay scored the next 10 points, half of them coming on aces by Emily Stromberg.
The Lady Blue Devils (34-4) have won five of their last six matches. Of their four losses, two have come against Dunbar, the other two to teams from Alabama.
Wednesday's match will be Henry Clay's first against Catholic this season. The teams last met in the 2006 region semifinals when Henry Clay prevailed 2-0.
"It'll be a new challenge," Stromberg said, "but I think we can do it, and we'll have fun."
Grupe has no doubt his girls will be focused.
"I definitely think so, just because of the fact that Lexington Catholic has had such a good season, plus the fact that we never get to play them," Grupe said. "This is a big treat for us, just as much as it probably is for them. So, no, there won't be any overlooking them. We haven't even said the 'Dunbar' word."
No. 15 Lexington Catholic 2, Franklin Co. 0: Catholic trailed 3-2 in the opener but took control by scoring 12 of the next 14 points. A second-game run of 7-1 erased a 7-6 deficit and put the Lady Knights in control.
Catholic (26-7) will take a 15-match winning streak into the semifinals, looking for the chance to win its regional title. During the streak, Catholic has lost only two games.
"This is our chance to show them what we've got," Knights libero Kelly Rice said of Wednesday's showdown. "I think our weaknesses are their strengths and their weaknesses are our strengths, so it will be a good battle."
Alli Deaton and Kathryn Sandefer led Catholic's play at the net.
"I could have done better," Deaton said, "but I'm definitely proud of the way I played. ... I think we'll be doing pretty well tomorrow."
Franklin County (20-16) lost five of its last six matches.
Back-to-back aces by Molly Harkabus marked the high point for the Lady Flyers on Tuesday, opening a 5-2 lead in the second game.