High School Sports

Henry Clay volleyball sweeps West Jessamine to set up showdown with defending champs

The Henry Clay volleyball team took the first step in its quest to return to the state championship game on Friday night.

In their first trip to state since 2016, the Blue Devils swept West Jessamine 3-0 (25-13, 25-10, 25-16) in the opening round of the KHSAA state tournament at Valley High School in Louisville. Three years ago they swept their opponents in the first three rounds before falling to Sacred Heart in the championship match.

On Friday, Henry Clay (26-15) was led by senior Taylor Trammell, who had a match-high 12 kills and six blocks. Trammell, an honorable mention on this year’s Kentucky Volleyball Coaches Association All-State Team, was instrumental in the Blue Devils’ victory over Paul Laurence Dunbar in the 11th Region championship last week.

Henry Clay, No. 8 in the latest KVCA rankings, will face No. 1 Assumption in Saturday’s quarterfinals at 11:30 a.m. Assumption has won the state title two years in a row and its roster features two players who were named First-Team All-State: Ohio State commit Rylee Radar and Louisville commit Anna DeBeer, who was named this year’s Ms. Kentucky Volleyball.

Assumption (32-7) dominated Breathitt County in the opening round on Friday, 3-0 (25-1, 25-6, 25-3). The Rockets have not lost to a Kentucky team since 2017. They went undefeated (43-0) last year and their seven losses this season all came against out-of-state opponents. In their 32 victories this season the Rockets have never been taken to five sets. They’ve dropped just six sets total in those wins.

Assumption swept Henry Clay in Lexington (25-19, 25-12, 25-8) on Aug. 28.

Josh Sullivan has worked at the Herald-Leader for more than 10 years in multiple capacities, including as a news assistant, page designer, copy editor and sports reporter. He is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and a Lexington native.