John Henson | Daily Enteprise

First-year Harlan County High School volleyball coach Jennifer Hilton talked with her team before Tuesday’s season-opening match against visiting Pineville. The Lady Bears won 25-13, 25-13, 25-13.

HCHS opens season with win over Pineville

Her debut as coach of the Harlan County High School volleyball program went about as well as Jennifer Hilton could have hoped as the Lady Bears defeated visiting Pineville 25-13, 25-13 and 25-13 on Tuesday in the season opener for both squads.

“I’m tickled to death, for our players and coaches,” Hilton said. “I thought the girls played hard last night. We had a scrimmage the night before and struggled at times, but last night we didn’t really have any struggles. We started strong and finished strong.”

Emily Long, a junior, led the Lady Bears in points as she had a strong game around the net. Hilton said Olivia Minor, Elizabeth Ball and Kathryn Bailey led HCHS in service points.

“Paighton Freeman, Hannah Jones and Matessa Cox gave us some good minutes off the bench,” Hilton said.

The Lady Bears won 21-16, 21-13 in junior varsity action.

Harlan County (1-0) will open its district schedule on Thursday at home against Bell County.