LOG MOUNTAIN — The Bell County picked up their first win of the season Monday, but it wasn’t easy. Lynn Camp forced the Lady Cats to come from behind to pull out a 25-19, 18-25, 18-25, 25-22, 15-8 five setter.
“First win was amazing for this bunch of girls that I’m starting over with. We’ve got one senior, six or seven juniors, five or six sophomores and the rest are freshmen so this is a young group and we’re building from the ground up again,” said Bell coach Amber Hinkle. “If these girls stay with it, I think there’s potential here and potential for this season.”
Junior Kaitlyn Dean led the Lady Cats with 17 service points in the match and she came on to serve for Bell in the fifth set with the Lady Cats up just 7-6. A kill by freshman Danielle Parks followed by a pair of serves from Dean that the Lady Wildcats couldn’t return helped the Lady Cats open up an 11-6 edge and they went on to take the match from there.
“Kaitlyn is one of our stronger overhand hitters and we worked on that a lot during the off season. I think if more of our serves could have gone in we would have been through with this on sooner, but that comes with experience and talent,” Hinkle added. “Now that we’re playing three out of five games it really puts an emphasis on who is in the best shape to last three out of five and I’ve told them that all year long.”
After the Lady Cats took the first set 25-19, Lynn Camp came back to pull out consecutive 25-18 wins in the next two games behind the strong net play from junior Jessica May.
The Lady Wildcats led early in the fourth set until a pair of kills by sophomore Katie Jarvis helped Bell go up 13-12. It was still back-and-forth from much of the way until a kill from senior Sydney Gray put the Lady Cats up 17-16. Dean later came on to serve and strung together a couple of service points as Bell took control with a 21-18 advantage and held on to even the match with a 25-22 win.
Junior setter Kaylynn Gibson was also instrumental in getting the Lady Cats into their offense with several assists in the match.
“This group has worked really hard in the off season and were waiting to see the fruits of that,” Hinkle said. “I do want to say that Lynn Camp is a much-improved team from last year and they gave us a much tougher time than we were expecting.”
Bell County (1-2) plays at South Laurel today and will host Jackson County on Thursday in a pair of early tests against perennial 13th Region tournament teams.
Lynn Camp (0-3) hosts Harlan today.