Harlan County solidified its position as the 52nd District’s second seed, but it wasn’t easy as the Lady Bears won 25-15, 25-27, 27-25 and 25-23 on Tuesday at Middlesboro.
The Lady Bears played without senior Natalie Middleton due to a knee injury.
“We just didn’t come out with the intensity we needed,” Harlan County coach Stacy Noe said. “I felt comfortable after the first set, but give Middlesboro credit because they never quit and had us on the ropes in the final three sets.”
Junior setter Chelsey Noe brought Harlan County back in the final set as the Lady Bears trailed 24-17 before she ran off eight straight service points, including five aces.
“I never like to brag on Chelsey about games because she is my daughter, but she played big for us tonight when we needed something good to happen,” Noe said.
After Middlesboro tied the game at 24-all, Haley Blakley finished off the win with an ace.
“We just got complacent tonight, and it could have a lot to do with playing so many games in a row without being in the gym practicing, but we will take any win we can get,” Noe said.
Noe led the 7-6 Lady Bears with 12 service points, seven aces, six assists and two digs. Blakley had 10 service points, seven aces, four digs, four kills and three assists. Elyse Turner had nine service points, four tips, three digs and four assists. Miranda Cook had eight service points, five digs, three aces and two assists. Morgan Burke added eight service points, seven kills and three digs. Valaree Day had three service points, six kills, two blocks and one ace. Kimber Collins had one service point, three tips, three assists and one block. Krista Burke had five digs and one service point. Sophia Sergent had one ace and two digs.
The Lady Bears won 21-8, 21-14 in the junior varsity game. Krista Burke, Kathryn Bailey, Sophia Sergent, Brooklyn Collins, Olivia Minor and Emily Long led the Lady Bears. Long and Minor, both freshmen, were moved up to the varsity squad, according to Noe, who added the team was short handed at times with volleyball and soccer being played at the same time.
Harlan County returns to district action Thursday at Pineville.