By Chris Parsons / Sports Editor
MCKEE — The Whitley County Lady Colonels continue to rack up wins this season, tallying a school record 31 after Monday’s victory over Harlan County, but the team is not where it wants to be just yet.
The Lady Colonels did move one step closer to their goal of winning a region championship with a 3-0 (25-9, 25-14 and 25-22) win over Harlan County, but head coach David Halcomb said there’s still work to be done.
Halcomb also said he was pleased with the way his squad played after battling through some adversity in the third and final set, but admitted they’ll have to play better during today’s championship match.
“I thought we were really sharp through the first two sets and our ball control was really good and our passing was good as well,” Halcomb said. “The third set was a bit of a letdown, but I’m not going to complain too much over that.”
Halcomb has said from the start of the season that he felt like this year’s squad had the potential to be the best to come through Whitley County High School.
The Lady Colonels will have a chance to prove it today as they try to win the first region title in the program’s history. Even though Whitley County owns a pair of victories over the Lady Cardinals this season, Halcomb said he’s playing the underdog card with his team due to South Laurel’s history as far as region titles go.
“South Laurel has been to the state tournament many, many times, so even though we’ve beaten them twice this season, we’re still the underdog as far as winning a region title,” Halcomb said. “The good thing is I think our kids are hungry and ready to get to the state tournament, so I think they’ll be ready”
Whitley County opened up an early lead in the first set as it cruised to the 2-9 win to take a 1-0 lead in the match.
Early on, the second set looked as though it would be close throughout, but Whitley County pulled away for the second straight set to grab a 25-14 lead.
Harlan County not only came out fighting in the third set, but they led most of the way until the Lady Colonels grabbed a 15-14 lead and never looked back.
The Lady Black Bears managed to close the gap to one point at 21-20, but Halcomb’s squad went on for the 25-22 win and a spot in the 13th Region Championship game.
Game time for Tuesday’s contest is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Jackson County High School.