LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
CORBIN—The Corbin Lady Redhounds opened the home portion of their schedule in style Tuesday, picking up a 3-0 (25-17, 25-20 and 25-18) win over South Laurel.
The win improved Liberty Roberts' team to 4-3 on the season, but gave the squad the upper hand early in the race for the district's top seed.
Roberts said she was pleased with her team's all-around aggressive play throughout the match, which is something she said it has lacked over the past few seasons.
"We've been aggressive in the past, but it seems like it's usually been two or three girls," Roberts said. "This season it seems like everyone on the floor is going after the ball and trying to make a play, which is great.
"It's early in the season, but I really like how our girls are playing and the direction we are going right now," she added. "We played some really competitive teams over the weekend and I think we saw some things that we could fix."
Despite the loss, first-year coach Mitzi Jones said she was proud of what she called a young South Laurel team for not giving up. The Lady Cardinals never held a lead until early in the third set, but never seemed out of the match.
"We are a young team and we are learning as we go this season," Jones said. "Our girls continued to battle and they never quit.
"We've got some girls that haven't seen a lot of playing time and one girl that has never played volleyball before, so we're going to get better as the season progresses," she added. "The key is to keep the girls positive when they lose and try and build on the things that they're doing correctly."
Corbin jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first game and never looked back. The Lady Cardinals trimmed the gap to 4-3, but could never tie or grab the lead as Roberts' squad pulled away for the 25-17 win as Allison Worthy closed the game out on serve.
The Lady Redhounds put their opponent in an early hole for the second straight game, jumping ahead 4-0 before South Laurel pulled to within a point at 9-8. Corbin rattled off four straight points on the serve of Carley Jackson to push the lead to 13-8.
South Laurel cut the gap to two points on two occasions (13-11 and 22-20), but couldn't pull even as Landry Jung served out the second game to give her team the 25-20 win.
"We just couldn't seem to get over that hump," Jones said. "We were able to get close a few times, but they would pull away.
"I feel like if we could have tied it or gotten the lead it would have changed the momentum for us, but we just couldn't," she added.
The two teams traded points to start the third game until the Lady Redhounds came alive on the serve of Cheyenne Johnson leading 10-9. Johnson rattled off seven straight points on serve to stretch Corbin's lead to 17-9.
South Laurel trimmed the margin to three at 18-15, but the rally stalled as the Lady Redhounds pulled away for the 25-18 victory.
Roberts stressed the importance of winning the district games and said her team would use the other matches to improve as the season progresses.
"It was good to get the win over South and we'll get back into district play in a week or so," Roberts said. "These are the matches that count, so we want to use the others to improve as we go.
"Hopefully we can get better as the season progresses and be ready when the postseason comes around," she added.
Both teams were back in action Thursday as Corbin hosted Somerset and South Laurel traveled to Pulaski County.