Bell County senior setter Kaylynn Gibson was calling out all of her passes during Thursday’s 3-0 district win over Harlan. That communication and organization has helped the Lady Cats to a three-match winning streak and they now set all alone in second place in the 52nd District standings.
The Lady Cats overcame a slow start in the opening set, but rallied to pull out a 25-21 win. Bell then took the next two sets by identical 25-15 scores to complete the sweep.
“It seems like we always get off to a slow start until we get our serve on. Then we really came on and did our bump-set-hit, which is what we’ve focused on all summer long,” Lady Cat coach Amber Hinkle said. “We started getting some kills down and some aces off of our serves. We were finally playing team ball, which is what it’s all about.”
After taking the first two sets, Bell County opened up a 9-5 lead in the early going of set number three. The Lady Dragons got a kill from Taylor Cochran to get as close as 11-7. Lady Cat senior Caitlyn Zachery responded with three straight service points, including an ace, and a kill from Danielle Parks pushed the lead to 15-7.
Harlan’s Danielle Miller and Bell’s Gibson traded kills later in the set and a hard spike from Parks went out off a Lady Dragon player to make it 18-10.
A kill from Sydney Horton and a block by Dominique Dupar pulled Harlan within 20-13, but the Lady Dragons were called for a carry and Bell senior Courtney Cinnamon hit a booming serve that Harlan couldn’t return.
Cochran had another block for the Lady Dragons, but a Harlan spike went long and Zachery came on to serve on match point. Lady Cat junior Grace Barnett delivered a spike that went off a Lady Dragon with a lot of english and wound up going under the net to give Bell County the win.
“I think they can finally see that they can play with anybody in the 13th Region as long as they bump, set and hit the ball,” Hinkle added. “Really all of them played well. It’s team ball now and they realized that if they play together, talk and hustle they can do anything they want to on the court.”
Bell County (4-5, 2-1 in district play) will host Barbourville on Monday and visit North Laurel on Tuesday before hosting Middlesboro next Thursday. Harlan (3-9, 2-2) plays at Letcher County Central on Monday.