By Denis House
TIMES TRIBUNE (CORBIN, Ky.)
Even though it is early in the season, South Laurel volleyball coach Mitzi Jones knew her team was in need of a win.
They got just that Thursday night, beating visiting Knox Central in straight sets, 25-17, 25-8, 25-18.
“This was a much needed win,” Jones said. “We’ve been a little down, and with losing Kristen Rickett for the season, that made it even harder for us.”
With Rickett out, Jones had to change her rotation, and she was pleased with the outcome. After trailing 13-8 early in the first set, the Lady Cardinals battled back to cut the lead to 15-12. That’s when Whitney Wilt took over serving, and the senior really shined with three aces. By the time she gave up the serve, her team now had the lead at 21-16. South would take the first set, 25-17, with the final point being an ace served by Katie Reynolds. Jones was pleased with her team’s serving against the Lady Panthers.
“We had excellent serves tonight, especially Whitney,” Jones said.
The second set was no contest, and it was Wilt again serving South (3-3-0) out to a big lead. Five aces from the senior gave the Lady Cardinals a 10-1 lead.
Kelsey Parsons then took over serving, and her two aces gave South a 13-1 lead, forcing Knox Central to call a time out.
That time out did nothing to slow South Laurel down. Savannah Baxter recorded two aces as the lead grew to 20-5. South would take the second set, 25-8.
Trailing 2-0, Knox Central (2-2-0) refused to give up, and held a lead for most of the early part of the third set, despite three aces from Parsons and two by Reynolds.
Knox Central’s Kristin Smith hit a ball into the net and the match was tied, 10-10. There would be three more ties before South Laurel, and Wilt, took control of the match. With Wilt serving and Reynolds and Baxter’s play at the net, the Lady Cards took a 22-15 lead, and then went on to win the set, 25-18, and the match, 3-0.
“Tonight gave us a good idea where we are going with our new rotation,” Jones said.
Knox Central will travel to Lynn Camp Monday while South Laurel will travel to face North Laurel Tuesday.