Harlan opened the district volleyball slate with a victory at Middlesboro on Tuesday. The Lady Dragons weren’t quite as successful at home against Bell County on Thursday. The visiting Lady Cats swept the Lady Dragons 25-12, 25-12, 25-18 in a 52nd District contest.
The Lady Dragons rarely used all three touches of the ball in Thursday’s contest. Choosing a quick return instead of setting the ball up for a spike attempt.
“They have to set the ball up more. We have discussed that all season, and they are still not doing it. I guess I will just have to keep rotating the starting lineup until I find six that will do what I want them to do,” said Harlan coach Tara Posey.
Bell County won by 13 points in each of the first two sets before a more competitive third and final set.
A Jesse Cochran ace gave Harlan an early 3-0 lead in the final set. The Lady Dragons continued to lead as a Shanae Thomas return made it 7-5. However, Bell County responded with five straight points to jump on top. Caitlyn Zachary had a tip and a spike for a point to power the run that saw Bell County take the lead. The Lady Dragons rallied to tie the game at ten, but were never unable to regain the lead. Bell’s Danielle Parks scored on a spike and a tip on the next two points to put the Lady Cats up 12-10. Parks later made it 17-13 with a service point.With Bell up by four, Courtney Cinnamon scored on three straight service points to put the Lady Cats in control at 21-14. Harlan was unable to get within six the rest of the way as Bell held on for the win.
The Lady Dragons were victorious in the junior varsity contest. Harlan dropped the opening game 17-21, but rallied with 21-15 and 21-18 victories in the final two sets.
Harlan (1-6 overall, 1-1 district) returns to action Tuesday at home against Knox Central. Bell County (1-4 overall, 1-0 district) will visit Harlan County on Thursday.