Tates Creek won its first-ever district volleyball title last week, so the Commodores could be forgiven if they had a little bit of a letdown in their 11th Region opener Tuesday night.
No forgiveness was necessary, however.
Tates Creek, rated fifth in the state, overwhelmed out-matched Franklin County 25-10, 25-7, 25-16 at Henry Clay.
It was the Commodores' 15th consecutive victory.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
"No letdown," Tates Creek Coach Sara Chaffin said. "I've seen more focus than anything. Focused on what we're trying to do this season."
The Commodores are trying to win the region for the first time since 2005.
They will face Scott County in Wednesday's semifinals. Scott County beat Madison Central 22-25, 25-19, 25-21, 25-16 Tuesday night.
Tates Creek senior star Kendall Beerman began the second set serving, and she rocketed a few top-spin aces to help build a 10-0 lead.
Beerman went to the bench soon after that, and rested the entire third set.
"Kendall works so hard all the time and she gets a lot of reps on that arm," Chaffin said. "So it was nice to give her a break and give the supporting girls on the bench a chance to play in the region."
Scott County, which beat Madison Central 3-0 during the regular season, got off to a slow start in the rematch.
Madison Central won the first set, putting the Cardinals on alert.
"I don't know whether it was nerves or what, but we had a very slow start," Scott County Coach Kimberly Thompson said. "And Madison Central really brought their game."
Led by juniors Georgia Miller and Aubrey Hawkins, the Cards got going in the second set.
"It's a team sport, and I think when they were down in the first game, they played individually," Thompson said. "After that they did what they needed to do to come back. They started talking to each other.
"Once we started getting excited and having fun, we started picking up our game and our intensity."
Scott County will be a decided underdog to the Commodores Wednesday night. The Cards lost to Tates Creek 3-0 in their first match of the season, but they were missing two starters.
"We can't give Tates Creek a run of points," Thompson said. "We have to do the rally game. When we rally back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, that's when we win. That kind of game frustrates a lot of teams."