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Emily Gaines bumps the ball against Knox Central.

The South Laurel volleyball team shook off a pair of weekend losses to dominate a young Knox Central squad Tuesday. The Lady Cardinals (6-2) played loose, but overpowering in the win.

“Playing this weekend helped them a lot, but just knowing they were at home they seemed so much calmer with the support they get from the student body and all their friends,” coach Kaye Smith said. “It’s real easy to get ready for a home game.”

South scored the first nine points in the opening set on the way to a 25-8 win. They scored the first six before closing out the second set 25-6. Knox Central didn’t come close to mounting any substantial rallies. Half of the 14 points they did score came on poor serves by the Lady Cardinals.

Despite the points given away with serves, Smith saw that as an area that improved much since the weekend.

“We discussed that with the girls because we had some bad serving games this weekend,”" Smith said.

The Lady Cardinals finished the night with 12 aces, led by Erika Burchett with five and Emily Gaines with three. Gaines led South Laurel with 10 kills.

Smith said Gaines played well in the weekend tournament despite illness. Having her at less than 100 percent may have played a role in the two losses.

“You take one of them out of your equation and it hurts,” Smith said. “She still had a great tournament.”

South Laurel lost to Allen Central in tournament pool play. Betsy Layne then put the Lady Cardinals out the tournament. Betsy Layne went on to win.

“They were a very good team,” Smith said.

The Lady Cardinals also picked up four wins in the tournament. If there was concern about how they might play against an overmatched Knox Central team after a competitive tournament, Smith did not mention it to her team.

“We’ve always told them and they know too that you don’t take anything for granted,” Smith said.

The Lady Cardinals were scheduled to play at Rockcastle County Thursday, followed by matches against Clay County and Corbin.

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