The Harlan County Lady Bears extended their win streak to three with a 25-22, 25-21, 25-13 victory Tuesday over visiting Knox Central, and HCHS coach Stacy Noe gave much of the credit for the Lady Bears’ improved play to his seniors.
“They stepped up in a very tight game against a good Knox Central team,” he said. “Natalie Middleton is just our coach on the floor. She calls for subs and has stepped up as a great leader for this team. Haley Blakley stepped up big for us tonight and was all over the court. When she plays like that we are a much better team.”
Blakley and Middleton led HCHS in the first set with four kills each. Valaree Day also came through with several big plays.
“I hope that this game is a wake up game for our girls of what type of team we can have,” said Noe. “Valaree played great again for us tonight, dominating the net on both ends. It was just a total team effort from everyone and we were happy to come out with a hard fought victory.”
Knox Central opened the second set by jumping out to a 9-4 lead and led 19-15 before the Lady Bears rallied by outscoring Knox Central 10-2 to close the set.
Miranda Cook opened the third set by reeling off five straight service points as Harlan County coasted to a convincing victory.
Knox Central knocked off Harlan County 21-10, 21-13 in junior varsity action. HCHS was led in scoring by Krista Burke with five aces and nine total service points. Freshman Emily Long also added several aces. Elizabeth Ball, Abby Stevens and Olivia Minor also scored for the Lady Bears.
Harlan County’s freshmen team won in straight sets. The Lady Bears were led by Minor and Long in the first set, with Matessa Cox also playing a crucial role.
Harlan County (4-2) returns to action Thursday night in a district game with Bell County at Harlan County.