October 22, 2012

Corbin storms back to earn trip to state

South Laurel wins first two sets, then drops next three

By Chris Parsons

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — CORBIN—The Corbin Lady Redhounds have developed a few habits over the course of the last two seasons, one of which is winning 13th Region Championships.

Liberty Roberts’ squad is heading back to the state volleyball tournament after knocking off South Laurel in five sets (18-25, 18-25, 25-18, 25-13 and 15-9). It wasn’t easy though, especially after trailing 2-0 after two sets, but Corbin’s Vanessa Wiseman said for some reason she felt like her team had it in the bag all along.

“I knew we could pull it out because we have a lot of heart,” Wiseman said. “We didn’t play our best at all, but I knew we could pull through.

“We’ve been a team all year and we really trust each other, so I knew we could do it,” she added.

After the comeback, Roberts admitted she was as close to speechless as she had ever been before the start of the third set.

“I really was racking my brain to try and come up with something to say to get through to them because I was even surprised by how dull we came out,” she said. “I think the girls thought they were going to come out and win 3-0 and I’m not sure why they would think that because South Laurel is a very good team.

Right before the third set we decided our motto for the rest of the night was ‘nothing worthwhile comes easy’ so we had to really dig deep and decide if we were going to fight or give up,” she added. “I’m so proud of them because they fought back and won this.”

South Laurel looked like a team on a mission on the early stages of the match, jumping out to a 6-1 lead in the first set and never looking back. The Lady Cardinals led by as many as 10 points on three occasions before going on to the 25-18 win.

The second set was more of the same for Coach Fawn Greer’s squad, though things were a little closer to start. Corbin took a 6-5 lead at one point, but once the Lady Cardinals took a 9-6 lead, they never looked back en route to the 25-18 win.

Despite being up 2-0, Greer said she knew the match wasn’t over and warned her girls of that.

“The second game is always the game that we start slacking off, so we worked hard to make sure we didn’t slow down,” she said. “Then, we got to the third game and it was just so tough for our kids to get their heads back in the game and it was just downhill from there.

“Corbin changed their strategy a little bit and they got themselves fired up,” she added. “It was just one of things that happen in sports.”

With its back against the wall, Corbin responded by turning the tables and jumping out to a 6-1 lead, forcing South Laurel to take a timeout.

The Lady Cardinals trimmed the lead to three points (8-5), but Corbin never let up as it went on to a 25-18 win to make it a 2-1 match.

Things got worse for South Laurel in the fourth set as Corbin sprinted out to a 10-2 lead. Corbin was able to keep the momentum going as it cruised to the 25-13 win to force a decisive fifth set.

South Laurel took its only lead of the final set by scoring the first point. After that, Corbin took control, scoring seven straight points on the serve of Allison Worthy to make the score 7-1. South Laurel was able to get within four points at 11-7, but the Lady Redhounds closed out the match with a 15-9 win to secure their second region title in as many years.

Roberts said the win was a true reflection of how the girls feel about each other.

“This is a true team and they really showed that they didn’t want to let each other down,” she said. “I think what pulled them through this was the fact they were afraid to let one another down and to me, that’s the definition of a true team.”

Corbin will be back in action next Friday when they travel to Louisville to take part in the 2012 State Volleyball Tournament.