Harlan County moved to within one win of clinching the second seed in next month’s 52nd District Tournament with a four-set win Thursday at Pineville.
The Lady Bears won 23-25, 25-20, 25-22, 25-11 to improve to 8-6 overall and 4-2 in district play. Pineville was added to the 52nd District this season, one of five teams in a district that also includes Harlan, Middlesboro and Bell County.
HCHS won despite playing without seniors Natalie Middleton (injury) and Valaree Day (illness).
Freshman Emily Long, recently added to the varsity, sparked the Lady Bears after they lost the first set, scoring nine straight service points in one set and six in another.
“She was huge for us tonight after losing the first set,” Harlan County coach Stacy Noe said. “Haley Blakley also played real well with her serves and defense all over the court. Her leadership has really started to show the last four games.”
Blakley led HCHS with 15 service points, nine aces and two digs. Elyse Turner added 10 service points, two digs, two tips and four assists. Morgan Burke had seven service points, four aces, two digs and three assists. Chelsey Noe contributed five service points, six assists and one dig. Kimber Collins added four kills, two assists and two saves.
The HCHS junior varsity team won 21-4, 21-9. Sophomore Kathryn Bailey and Long each had eight service points and six aces. Olivia Minor and Sophia Sergent also had had big games. Madison Blanton and Abby Stevens led the Lady Bears in the second set.
Harlan County travels to Knox Central on Monday.