Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

October 23, 2013

63rd District volleyball: Just the same, only different

Reigning player of year leads Raceland past former team

Kyle Hobstetter
The Independent

RUSSELL — During last season’s 63rd District Volleyball Tournament, Kymbria Williams led Greenup County past Raceland. This year it was the other way around.

After losing the first game, Raceland came back to defeat Greenup County 3-1 (23-25, 25-15, 25-12, 25-17) in the first round of the 63rd District Tournament at Russell High School.

Williams, who is the reigning All-Area Player of the Year, said the first game was kind of a struggle dealing with nerves because she transferred from Greenup County before the start of the year.

“This was a huge win for me,” Williams said. “That first set I was nervous because that’s my rival team because I transferred from there. I guess we got the jitters and I guess we released them as the game went on.”

Raceland coach Jason Clark credited the first game struggle with a long 10-day layoff in between games.

“The layoff hurt us,” Clark said. “We were rusty at times and serves killed us in the first set. We didn’t serve really well and you can’t give free points away, especially to a team a good like Greenup County.”

After Greenup County’s defense played well for two games against Williams and Raceland hitters, the Lady Rams exploded in the third game.

Raceland (31-4) opened up an 8-1 lead, including six kills in that span. In the final two games, the Lady Rams accounted for 19 kills in putting away the Lady Musketeers.

Williams led Raceland with 15 kills, six aces and four blocks. The Lady Rams also got a big game from senior hitter Abby Brogan, who added seven kills.

“Kymbria and Abby put on an amazing performance tonight,” Clark said. “That wouldn’t have happened without our setters. Our setters made some big plays and our back row people got the ball to them. If our back row can to the ball to Kymrbia and Abby, I like our chances.”

Greenup County (13-18) got big games from All-District team members Cara Jorio and Katlin Moore. Jorio finished with seven kills, four points from tips and two aces.

Moore, who is only a sophomore, had seven kills, three aces, two points from tips and one block.

“(Moore) is one of the better players in the region as far as she can hit the ball,” Clark said.

Raceland will play in the district championship match for the first time since 2010.

Russell 3

Lewis Co. 0

There are three things for certain in area volleyball: Graduation, big hitters and Darrell Adkins in the district championship match.

Adkins made it 12-for-12 in his career after Russell defeated Lewis County 3-0 (25-23, 25-8, 25-12) in the second opening-round match of the night.

The long-time head coach said his young team featured a lot of potential. On Tuesday night the Lady Devils, which featured only three seniors and no juniors, lived up to Adkins’ claim.

“It was a real good game for us,” Adkins said. “We’ve got a lot of young players, we’ve had a lot of potential all year but I think we’re finally starting to grow up and play to our capabilities. I’ve always known they could be this good, but they haven’t always known it.”

Russell (15-14) relied on strong serves throughout the match and totaled 13 aces. Senior Victoria Behrens had the most with five aces, including a string that saw her land three straight.

Sophomore Emma Ison finished the match with 17 kills while freshman Sara Hieneman contributed seven kills and five blocks.

And while the Lady Devils played well at the net, Adkins was more impressed with his team’s passing. Russell had only five bad passes while setter Cassie Fultz was the one who set up a lot of the team’s points.

Adkins said while hitters like Ison and Hieneman get the recognition, it’s Fultz who really makes the team go.

“She played a perfect game tonight,” Adkins said. “There is not going to be a lot of stats by her name, but we won the game tonight because Cassie Fultz played well.”

Lewis County (22-12) finished with the third-best record in the region, but is still waiting for its first-ever  region tournament appearance.

 in school history.

KYLE HOBSTETTER can be reached at khobstetter@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2658.