Harlan County edges Bell to win 52nd District Volleyball Tourney

Published 1:40 pm Friday, October 21, 2022

By Paul Lunsford

Contributing Writer

For the first since 2014, the Harlan County Lady Black Bears have won a 52nd District Volleyball Championship at Middlesboro High School.

HCHS edged Bell County on Tuesday in five sets (25-20, 23-25, 25-19, 25-27, 15-11).

Harlan County advanced to the title game with a 3-0 victory over Harlan (25-13, 25-12, 25-18).

Bell County defeated Middlesboro 3-0 in Monday’s first game (25-8, 25-17, 25-16).

In the championship game, sophomore Ashton Evans has 35 digs, and 19 kills to lead the Lady Bears. Kalista Dunn, a freshman, also contributed 10 kills.

Freshman Savannah Hill collected 23 assists for Harlan County. Senior Lindsay Hall and Kylee Hoiska, a freshman, each added six aces.

Hill and Dunn followed with four aces apiece.

Dunn contributed 22 digs, followed by Hoiska with 15, Hall with 13, and Hill with 12.

Harlan County also got eight kills from Hall. Destiny Cornett, a junior, had 10 digs. Senior Chloe Shelton finished with nine assists.

No scoring information was available for the Lady Cats.

Bell County won both regular-season games over the Lady Bears. The Lady Cats won 3-2 at home on Aug. 30 and downed home-standing HC 3-1 on Sept. 20.

The Lady Bobcats were the three-time district champions. The Lady Bears were district runner-ups in 2020 and 2021.

Since 2010, HC has claimed five district titles.

Hill led Harlan County with eight assists in the district opener against Harlan. Shelton added seven assists.

Dunn added seven aces, six kills, and five digs for the Lady Bears. Hill had six aces, and Evans had five. Hall contributed six kills.

For the Lady Dragons, Ella Farley collected 11 digs. Emma Owens followed with eight, and Carley Thomas added six.

Thomas also added six aces, while Annie Hoskins had four kills. Marissa Marlowe and Thomas added three kills each. Owens had three assists.

Harlan closed the season with an 8-14 record.

Middlesboro, who ended the year with a 1-18 mark, was led by Marilynn Jackson with eight digs and four assists.

Harmony Goins contributed four digs and four assists for the Lady Jackets.

Madison Heck added three digs.

Bell County (23-9) and Harlan County (11-11) will advance to the 13th Region Tournament.