LOG MOUNTIAN — Knox Central used a big match from Tyra McNeil as they knocked off Bell County 3-1 in 13th Region volleyball action Monday.
McNeil was a force at the net, especially on the defensive end, and finished with eight kills and 13 blocks to lead the Lady Panthers in a 26-24, 21-25, 25-20, 25-21 win.
Lady Cats Katie Jarvis and Danielle Parks went toe-to-toe with McNeil most of the night, but ultimately didn’t have an answer for her.
“She could just set there at the net and block us and our girls aren’t used to that,” said Lady Cat coach Amber Hinkle. “Our girls just don’t have the experience yet to know when to fall back when they get blocked and keep the ball alive.”
Despite McNeil’s advantage up front, Bell kept the match close throughout the night with their hustle. One key point game in the fourth set with the score tied 6-6. Kaylynn Gibson ran down a ball that had ricocheted way out of bounds off a Lady Cat dig and saved it back over her head. Jarvis was there to spike it home and give Bell the lead.
It was 11-10 when Megan King was inserted into the Bell lineup to serve. Kills by Parks and Morgan Mills put the Lady Cats up 14-10.
A strong kill by McNeil followed by a block brought the Lady Panthers back and after kills by Bell’s Courtney Cinnamon and Knox’s Kelsey Engle the score was tied at 16. An ace from McNeil put Knox Central back into the lead.
The final set went back and forth down the stretch with the Lady Cats getting kills from King and Parks and McNeil providing points for the Lady Panthers with a hard block and another kill.
McNeil’s last kill put Knox up 23-21 and Ashley Jones came on to serve out the match. She secured match point with an ace that fell in just on the line as the Lady Panthers took the final set 25-21.
Both teams are back in action today as Knox Central (2-3) hosts North Laurel while Bell County (1-5) has their first district match at home against Harlan County.