By Mitch Howard
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
CORBIN—North Laurel’s last two games have been against the 13th Region’s two best teams. Although the Lady Jaguars have lost both matches, they have walked away with confidence.
“I definitely think this week has shown both me and my girls that we can compete with anyone. Whitley and Corbin, in my opinion, are the two best teams in the region and for us to play with both of them the way we did this week, it’s definitely a confidence booster,” North Laurel coach Ali Ray said.
The Lady Jaguars fell to Corbin in four sets Thursday (23-25, 25-7, 25-19, 25-23), two days after taking Whitley County to five sets.
“I was very pleased with the way we played last night, except the second set,” Ray said. “We were challenging them at the net. We were digging their attacks.”
After winning the first set, North Laurel was never in the second set. They would come back and challenge in the final two sets.
“I’m not sure what happened after the first set. The second set was one of those sets that we just couldn’t get anything going. We were only able to score seven points. It was just a bad set and I’m trying to forget that one happened,” Ray said.
The Lady Jaguars bounced back in the third and fourth sets, but had trouble handling the Corbin serves. It was an issue that also hurt them at times against Whitley County despite being a constant focus in practice.
“We were playing right with them,” Ray said. “The thing that got us beat was serve receive. They have some really good servers that we have a hard time handling and that was the difference in the game. “
North Laurel tried to extend the Lady Redhounds to a fifth set and led late in the in the fourth set.
“We battled right to the very end and I was very proud of everyone that contributed,” Ray said.
North Laurel hosted the Steak-N-Shake Invitational over the weekend with Bell County and Leslie County in its pool. Other teams in the tournament were Jackson County, Garrard County and McCreary Central.
South falls to Jackson County
Earlier this season South Laurel swept past Jackson County in three sets.
Thursday night is was a different story, as the Lady Cards fell, 25-16, 19-25, 21-25, 25-20, 15-7.
The Lady Cards were coming off a 3-0 sweep of Berea, 25-14, 25-12, 25-13.
South played Mason County and George Rogers Clark Saturday in a tri-match at GRC. They will host Knox Central Tuesday.