The 49th District volleyball tournament begins tonight at Cawood, with top seed Cumberland facing the No. 4 Trojanettes at 6 p.m., followed by No. 2 Evarts and No. 3 Harlan at 7.
The Lady Skins breezed through the regular season with the county's best record (12-3), including a 6-0 mark in district play.
The trend is much different than last year, when Cumberland dropped its last three matches of the regular season as well as its first district tournament match.
A talented trio of sophomores defined the Lady Skins in 2003. While that group is still around, it's a trio of seniors Ashley Creech, Lindsay Collier and Arleena Sergent that have provided Cumberland's spark this season.
The Lady Skins already own two victories over Clay County, which beat Cumberland in the first round of the 13th Region Tournament.
Cumberland's performances against Lynn Camp, the prohibitive regional favorite, should also give the Lady Skins added confidence. Cumberland fell to the Lady Tigers twice this year, but extended the match to three games in both meetings.
The Evarts Lady Cats claimed the district's second seed with an 8-6 record, including a 4-2 district mark.
The Lady Cats stumbled down the stretch, losing back-to-back matches to Leslie County and Bell County, but rebounded to close the season with victories over Cawood and Middlesboro.
The Lady Cats had little trouble in sweeping Harlan and Cawood in the regular season, but struggled against Cumberland.
Still, Evarts has perhaps the most talented team in the district, top to bottom. Each of the Lady Cats' starters