By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
LYNN CAMP — The 13th Region Volleyball Tournament will get under way today at Lynn Camp High School and, at this point, it’s anybody’s title to win.
Though the Corbin Lady Redhounds are 18-1 against region foes this season, a late-season loss to Whitley County and a five-set marathon win in the 50th District finals against South Laurel may be enough to teams the confidence to pull off an upset in the late stages of the tournament.
As for 13th Region records, Whitley County boasts an impressive one of their own, coming in at 16-3 on the season with two losses to Corbin and one to South Laurel. South Laurel is 17-6 on the year on the season overall, with all six losses coming at the hands of 13th Region teams (four to Corbin, one each to Whitley County and Jackson County.)
All three of the aforementioned teams know that it will take solid play to get them to the state tournament. The bad news for South Laurel and Whitley County is that one of the two will be finished after they play each other in the first round Tuesday night.
“It’s a tough draw for us in the first round, but if you’re going to have to beat them, you might as well do it in the first round,” Whitley County coach David Halcomb said. “They are a really good team and we’re going to have to come ready to play because they have improved throughout the season.”
South Laurel coach Fawn Greer echoed Halcomb’s thoughts on the first-round showdown between the two teams, but said she was confident in her team's chances, considering they have won eight of the last 10 matches they've played.
"We're really playing well right now and we've had a good stretch to close the season," Greer said. "We played really well against Corbin in the district finals, but came up a little bit short."
The defending champs are the Corbin Lady Redhounds and they will have the easiest road to the finals of any team in the tournament. They've beaten all three teams in their half of the bracket in straight sets each time they've played. Corbin coach Liberty Roberts said they still can't afford to overlook anyone when it comes to postseason play.
"I do feel like we got the best possible draw in the first and second round, but you still have to show up ready to compete," Roberts said. “We know that teams improve as the year progresses, so you can’t overlook anybody when you get to the postseason.
“I think our kids are focused on teh goal at hand and they know what they have to do to achieve that goal,” she added. “LIke I said, we have to show up focused and ready to play every night, no matter who our opponenet is.”
The tournament will get under way tonight at 5 p.m. when Jackson County faces Knox Central in the opening match, followed by Corbin and Harlan at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday night will see Harlan County and Clay County square off at 5:30, while South Laurel and Whitley County play in the nightcap at 6:30 p.m.
The semifinals will be played Wednesday night and the championship game is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday night. All games will be played at Lynn Camp High School.
By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
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