For a Harlan County team not playing at its best, finding a way to win in three sets Monday at home against Barbourville was a good sign.
“I felt like even though we won, we sort of just went through the game without any emotion, and you have to play hard every play. That is what winning teams do,” said Harlan County coach Stacy Noe after the Lady Bears defeated Barbourville 25-16, 25-21, 25-13.
Natalie Middleton and Valaree Day played well in the opening set with several kills that helped HCHS build an early lead. The Lady Bears never trailed in coasting to the win.
“I was extremely pleased with Valaree’s play tonight as she accepts her role night in and night out and gives the boost we need as either a starter or the first girl off the bench,” Noe said. “It takes a team player and a good person to understand their role, and she is both. I love her dedication to the team.”
Harlan County rallied from a 19-14 deficit in the second set. Haley Blakley, Kimber Collins, Middleton and Elise Turner had kills to close out the set.
The third set started well for HCHS as Miranda Cook had nine straight service points, and the Lady Bears never looked back.
Harlan County won 21-13 and 21-12 in junior varsity action, Emily Long, Madison Blanton, Sophia Sergent, Kathryn Bailey, Elizabeth Ball and Olivia Minor led the Lady Bears to the win.
The Lady Bears also won in straight sets in freshman competition, 21-18, 21-15, as Matessa Cox, Whitney Couch and Long all started strong for the Lady Bears. Minor and Elizabeth Ball also helped spark the HCHS in the win.
Harlan County (3-2) plays host to Knox Central on Tuesday before returning to action with a district game Thursday at home against Bell County.