By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
The North Laurel Lady Jaguars finished the season with a 17-17 mark, missing out on a chance to go to the 13th Region Tournament after falling to South Laurel.
The Lady Jaguars put up a good fight in the 50th District Tournament, but failed to get past South Laurel as they still look for the program’s first win over the Lady Cardinals.
Despite the way the season ended, head coach Ali Ray said she felt like her team was playing as good as any team in the region over the last month.
“Even though our record doesn’t indicate it, I really think we played our best volleyball at the end of the season,” Ray said. “I also think we were playing as good as anybody in the region as things wound down, but we just couldn’t get things together at the same time.
“We were doing some things well at one point and other things at other times,” she said. “You really have to play well in all aspects as the postseason approaches or else you’re not going to be able to beat the teams you have to beat to advance.”
After wining the first two matches of the season, North Laurel stumbled to drop the next two contests. At that point it looked like things were going the wrong way for Ray and company.
A mediocre showing in the McCreary Central Invitational Tournament lit a fire under the Lady Jaguars as they rattled off three straight wins and also won seven of the next nine matches.
A 3-2 mark in the Lady Colonel First Priority Volleyball Classic was the calm before the storm as North Laurel lost five of the next seven contests before winning three out of the last five to close out the regular season.
After the loss to South Laurel, Ray said goodbye to six seniors, but she said next year’s senior class will go a long way in filling the huge hole left by this year’s graduates.
“We have a huge class of juniors that will be looked to a lot next season,” Ray said. “The seniors we lost this year were really difference makers on the floor.
“They weren’t all the most talented on the floor, but their effort was something that provided leadership for our team,” she added. “Next year’s seniors will have to provide the same type of leadership if we’re going to be successful.”
As for changes, Ray said the one thing she hoped to do next season is play tougher competition, as opposed to the number of matches her team played this year.
“I feel like we really played a lot this year, but it wasn’t always against the best competition,” Ray said. “When you talk about teams in the northern part of the state, you think the teams would be equal because we’re in the same state, but that’s not the case.
“If you want to get better, I think you really have to play better teams and we really don’t have a bunch of them in our area,” she added. “We’ll look at that when the time comes and hopefully it will benefit it next season.”
By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
- Local Sports
They may have had to withstand a last-inning rally, but the Corbin Little League All Stars held on for the 12-10 win over Knox County Wednesday, advancing a step closer to the state tournament.
One for the Money
After a 4-4 win by Knox County Sunday, the Corbin and Knox County 11-year-old All-Stars will face off for the third time in less than a week today, but this time there’s a lot on the line.
North Laurel's Daria Casey continued to dominate on the mound, striking out 13 batters during the North Laurel 11-12 year-olds' 9-6 win over North Oldham Sunday.
State of Shock
After dropping a 9-2 decision to Russell County on Saturday, the North Laurel 9-10 year-old All-Star team responded with a 9-8 win over North Oldham Sunday.
Clay slips past Corbin
Corbin Grey's run to a runner-up appearance in Area 2 play came to an end Thursday after falling to Clay County, 12-7.
Too Hot to Handle
Knox County may have scored first in Wednesday’s showdown with the Corbin 11-year-old All Stars, but the early lead didn’t last very long.
Mahan tabbed to lead Corbin softball program
Just a day after Chris Hart’s contract as head coach of the Corbin Lady Redhounds softball team officially ended, the school named the team’s new coach and it’s a familiar face.
Just call them, “The comeback kids.”
The Corbin Grey 9-10 year-old All-Star team has a knack of rallying during their stay in the Area 2 9-10 year-old All-Star Tournament, and it wasn’t any different during Wednesday’s 13-9 come from behind win over South London.
- Smashing Win
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- Close Call