Lady Bears hope to build on progress, contend for district title


Tyler Helton

The Harlan County High School volleyball team includes, front row, from left: Paige Allen, Savannah Hill, Lindsay Hall, Chloe Shelton, Emilee Eldridge, Brooklyn Wood, Taylor Clem, Destiny Cornett; middle row: coach Christina Spurlock, Chelsey Farley, Maggie Clem, Mallory Miles, karli Shoupe, Susy Mumford, Brooklyn Burke, Callie Griffith, Rileigh Duff and coach Dianna Blanton; back row: coach Dixie Ewing, Maddie Middleton, Lesleigh Brown, Abby Sherman, Kylee Hoskia, Kaitlyn Daniels, Ashton Evans, Kylee Moyers, Madison Daniels, Kalista Dunn and coach Cathy York.

By John Henson, Managing Editor

After two straight seasons of improvement, the Harlan County Lady Bears hope to take the next step this fall and end an eight-year drought between district championships.
The Lady Bears knocked off Harlan in the first round of last year’s district tourney then pushed Bell County to five sets in the finals before losing a heartbreaker. HCHS fell in the first round of the 13th Region Tournament and finished the year at 7-17.
“I’m pleased at the progress they have made,” Harlan County coach Christina Spurlock said. “Their energy and attitudes are great. We have set goals as a team and individually to accomplish and I know they are eager to achieve those.”
Harlan County brings back four of its top seven players from last season, led by standout freshman Kalista Dunn, who was second on the team last year with 57 kills and was first in digs with 44 and first in service aces with 60.
“Dunn is a great outside hitter and an all-around player. She reads the floor great,” Spurlock said.
Chloe Shelton, a senior, led the team last season with 147 assists.
“Chloe is a great leader and setter,” Spurlock said.
Another senior, Lindsay Hall, also returns after recording 52 kills and 41 service aces last year.
“Lindsay Hall is an outstanding outside hitter and all-around player,” Spurlock said.
Destiny Cornett, a junior, also played a big role last year with 86 assists to rank second on the team. She also had 20 kills and 13 service aces.
“Destiny is a very good setter who also plays the net great,” Spurlock said.
Brooklyn Wood, Emilee Eldridge, Lesleigh Brown, Savannah Hill, Ashton Evans and Kylee Hoisks are also expected to play key roles.
Spurlock likes the Lady Bears’ athleticism but wants to see improvement in teamwork as the season progresses.
“We cover the floor well, and our energy is great,” she said. “Our communication at times isn’t good, but overall they are executing our game plan.”