Clutch performance: Lady Titans top Freedom, earn state playoff berth

The McDowell Lady Titans' Bailey Elliott goes up at the net to set the ball during McDowell's win over Freedom Thursday.

Josh Davis/

This last week of the regular season in volleyball has been profitable for the McDowell Lady Titans. McDowell pulled off a huge, four-game win at Freedom Thursday evening, its second win this week.

Not only did the victory give McDowell (7-13 overall, 4-10 NWC), a solid regular-season finish, the win, combined with South Caldwell’s loss at Alexander Central, gives the Lady Titans the Northwestern Conference’s automatic berth in the 4A State volleyball playoffs.

With the current seeding protocol, the Lady Titans could potentially host a playoff match. Pairings are scheduled to be released on Thursday with the opening round set for next Saturday, Oct. 21.

McDowell got off to a quick start in Thursday’s finale, winning the first two games 25-15 and 25-17. Freedom countered with a slim victory in the third, taking it 25-23.

However, the momentum was halted quickly as the Lady Titans regained control and won the match with a 25-19 effort in the fourth.

Lily McKinney had a team-high 10 kills, Lauren Hudgins added eight kills and Taylor Buchanan produced four kills in the match for McDowell.

Bailey Elliott continued her steady production, setting up the outside hitters and recording 22 assists in the match. Parker Brown recorded 14 digs and Madison Ogle had nine digs.

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