AREA VOLLEYBALL PREVIEW
Area Volleyball Review
With the District and Region Volleyball playoffs this week, there are several surprises and some that may help shape the final results as the KHSAA State Tournament approaches. Here are 5 things to look for as the Distrcts start Monday.
Central Hardin should be the 5th Region Favorite. Sitting at 26-8, the Lady Bruins still rule and have proven over time tthat they could be representing the Region at the KHSAA state Tournament in late October. After taking a brief hiatus, head coach Bill Rineker has a strong team built around front line hitter Tori Steele and Libero Kelsey Brangers. The rest of the team isn’t bad either as Rineker always has a strong team every season and with 10 seniors on this squad (some starters), who knows what will happen next year.
Elizabethtown fields a strong team. At 19-11, head coach Bart Catlett should also be the second team representing the 5th Region at State. Despite numerous graduations of quality starters, the Lady Panthers have stood the test of time as they and the Lady Bruins have been the only two teams to play in the 17th District (when they started one) and that shouldn’t change barring an upset. Catlett has formed a strong group around front line hitter sophomore Elizabeth Godfrey, freshman Mary Hargan and defensive specialist sophomore Presley Payne. This is a young team which has taken some lumps early and should be there at the end.
Taylor County is a dark horse. At 27-8, the Lady Cardinals have the best record in the Region and will be the sternest challenge for both Central Hardin and Elizabethtown. Head coach Stephen Zink always seems to have a competitor and this year’s team is no exception. One of their key mark wins was a 3-0 win over powerful Central Hardin in September the 13th. The Lady Cardinals have size and speed and should be a tough outing for anyone they face.
John Hardin could be the party crasher. At 20-15, this could be the best Lady Bulldogs team in recent memory and if you watched them play you’d know why. As opposed to John Hardin teams in the past, this squad is strong, tough and resilient and plays smart. Their ability to keep the ball in play has a lot to do with it thanks to senior DS Kelsey Korfhage (who was originally a softball player who moved over to volleyball fulltime), who is the key to starting the engine. Senior Emma Ingalls has been a strong hitter and a strong support group is the reason why head coach Walter Hampton gives credit to the kids this season.
Breckinridge County is 4 REAL! After last seasons high water mark in wins and a big senior class, many did not expect a 27-7 record composed of juniors and sophomores, but this team has exceeded expectations in the 3rd Region. The reason has been the strong junior class of line hitters Peyton Whitworth, Tessa Allen and Halle Barr along with strong support players like junior Madison Thompson and freshman DS and line hitter Audrey Whitworth, who have improved their game over the summer playing Club ball. The Lady Tigers are one of the few teams to say they have wins over both powerful Central Hardin and Elizabethtown. Head coach Barry Mingus hopes this will mean a trip to the KHSAA State Tourney this November.