By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
WHITLEY COUNTY — Everything was going as planned for the Whitley County Lady Colonels volleyball team in 2011 until they met up with rival Corbin in the 13th Region championship game.
The Lady Colonels had put together the best overall record and regional record in the region along with an unblemished 5-0 mark in 51 district play.
They even entered the 13th Region title game with two wins under their belts against the Lady Redhounds, but Corbin surprised many by sweeping Whitley County in two sets while putting an end to the Lady Colonels’ attempt to capture their first-ever 13th Region crown.
Whitley County coach David Halcomb and his players haven’t forgotten that loss and are hoping it will fuel them to the 13th Region championship this year.
“We expect to be one of the teams to beat this year and we felt like we let one slip away last year,” he said. “I thought we entered that game as the team to beat, but we ended up having a sour taste in our mouths.
“I guess you’ve got to lose one to win one, so we’ll see what happens this season,” Halcomb added. “Corbin is the defending champion and they have Vanessa Wiseman returning, so they’re going to be very good again along with South Laurel, North Laurel and Harlan County.”
Halcomb said he expects his team to experience some ups and downs during the season, but in the end, being one of the best teams in the 13th Region.
“Things are going good and I expect us to compete for the region championship, but we lost four really good players from last season,” he said. “We’re going to need some game action and experience under our belts, but by the end of the season, I believe we’ll be right there with the other top teams.
“The key for us is going to be getting chemistry on the floor,” Halcomb added. “We’ve got some very talented girls on the team and our freshman group last season went 13-0 and we picked up a couple of players that’s really going to surprise people.”
Halcomb believes a lot of his team’s success could rely on the play of sophomore Kelsey Osborne.
“She’s our setter and she’s going to be big for us,” he admitted. “Players like Brianna Fox, Alexa Chaffman and Jordin Huddleston are going to play big roles, too.
“I do like our chances,” Halcomb added. “I am confident we can get back to the regional finals. I’m really pleased with where we are at right now and if our chemistry comes through, we are going to be a hard team to beat by tournament time.”
By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
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