By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
CORBIN — Liberty Roberts’ first year as the Corbin Lady Redhound volleyball coach was a smashing success and she’s hoping her second year is even better.
The Lady Redhounds are coming off a 21-17 season that saw them capture both the 50th District and 13th Region Tournaments while advancing to the Volleyball Sweet Sixteen.
“I really feel confident with this team,” Roberts said. “I really like what I have seen during our stay at the University of Kentucky camp. The girls have really gotten cleaner in terms of technique.”
After starting the season 4-6, Corbin caught fire last season and went 17-11 the remainder of the season, which included winning nine of 10 games during late in the season.
Roberts believes the success should carry over into this season.
“I believe it will,” she said. “We had a conversation the other day about the past being the past and we need to be proud of what we have accomplished, but now we need to focus on what we need to continue to do to get better in the future.
“The girls and I want to take it a step further,” Roberts added. “I’m excited about them not being satisfied just making it to the state tournament.”
One of the big reasons many are considering the Lady Redhounds as the team to beat is because of the return of senior Vanessa Wiseman, who earned 13th Region Player of the Year honors last season.
“It’s great to have her returning,” Roberts admitted. “We’re definitely going to use her returning to our advantage. Vanessa is a really skilled player and this being her senior year, I want her to be more aggressive and refine some of her passing skills.”
Corbin lost three players last season and return only two seniors to the mix this season, but the lack of seniors doesn’t seem to concern Roberts.
“We only had two seniors last season, too,” she said. “We do have six juniors and four of those right now are going to see some varsity time. We are going to rely on them a lot.
“We’ve also got some sophomore players (Allison Worthy and Chelsie Brock) that will contribute, too,” Roberts added. “We have a lot of potential.”
Roberts admitted her team has a chance to make another run at the 13th Region championship, but admitted it won’t be easy.
“I have a lot of respect for South Laurel and they are always competitive and Whitley County is very good, too,” she said. “I don’t know much about North Laurel this season, though. The girls’ goal is to take the next step and not just return to the state tournament, but make it past the Sweet Sixteen and that’s a great goal to have.”
Corbin Lady Redhounds look to improve on last season's success
By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
- Local Sports
The Williamsburg Yellow Jackets are partying like it's 1987! That was the last time the Jackets won a game in the 13th Region Tournament, and they ended the 27-year drought with a 47-44 win over the heavily-favored Knox Central Panthers on Thursday night.
Les Dixon's Daily Region Pick'Em
When it comes to picking region tournament games, it’s not an easy task to say the least. This is the most parity that I’ve ever seen in the 13th Region Boys and Girls Tournaments.
If Clay County’s play during the first game of the 13th Region Tournament is any indication of things to come, Robert Marcum’s squad could be well on its way of capturing their second straight 13th Region championship.
The Way it is
Since I’m picking Corbin to pull off the upset against Jackson County today, I figured I’d give my top five upsets dating back to 2005-06 when the 13th realigned and welcomed both North and South Laurel high schools to the mix.
Tony Pietrowski’s Corbin Redhounds have been favored during the past two first round 13th Region match-ups, and have been upset both times. Corbin is hoping things might change a bit this time around.
Barbourville will have hands full against Bell County today
Dinky Phipps’ Barbourville Tigers are looking for their first 13th Region Tournament win dating back to 2006’s tournament when they defeated Clay County in the regional semifinals.
Like It or Not
There’s an elephant in the room at this year’s 13th Region Tournament, and really in basketball in general, and I guess I’ll be the first one to point it out (publicly with my name attached to it).
Chris' Daily Region Pick'Em
With the first three days of opening round games in the books, I can honestly say I'm not surprised that I'm 4-2 overall when it comes to my pick'ems record.
You can never count out the Clay County Lady Tigers when it comes to the 13th Region Tournament.
Les Dixon's Daily Region Pick'em
After going just .500 during the girls games, things are going to get even tougher when it comes to picking the 13th Region Boys Tournament games.
- More Local Sports Headlines
- Knoxed Out