By John Middleton
The Harlan Lady Dragons held off visiting Clay County for a dramatic three-set victory in 13th Region action on Monday.
The Lady Dragons rallied from a six-point deficit at 20-14 for a victory in the first set.
Senior Elizabeth Johnson started the comeback effort with a dig for a point. Desiree Bowman then scored on two straight serves, before Taylor Hall made it 20-17 with a tip point. The teams then exchanged points until Amber Rouse put the Dragons up 24-21 with five straight service points. The lady Tigers regained serve when Rouse’s sixth serve was out of bounds. However, Clay County’s return was in the net on the following point, and the Lady Dragons took the first set.
Harlan fell behind 7-0 to start the second set and was never able to recover. The Lady Dragons got as close as one when Bowman scored on a serve, but Clay County quickly answered with two straight points to push the lead to 14-11. Taylor Cochran score on consecutive tips to close the gap back to one point, but Clay never relinquished the lead. Clay County’s Morgan Dubbles closed the game with a tip point.
The Lady Dragons got off to a better start in the third and final set. Harlan led 4-2 when Hall reeled off five straight service points to make it 9-2. The Lady Tigers refused to go away and answered with a 10-3 run that tied the game at 12. The teams traded leads from that point with neither going up by more than three points.
The lady Dragons trailed 19-18 before Hall took over down the stretch. She tied the game with a dig for a point, and scored the next three points on service. Her fourth serve was short into the net making it 23-21 and giving service back to Clay. The Lady Tigers scored the next two points to tie it once again at 23. Clay’s Kari Corum gave the lead back to Harlan with a long service on the following point. The return was long on the ensuing serve from Johnson and the Lady Dragons held on for the set and the match.
The Lady Dragons fell 21-19, 9-21, 19-21 in the junior varsity contest.
Harlan returns to action today at Corbin.