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Lady Raiders enjoy ‘invaluable’ experience in All A Classic

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By Dave Taylor

By DAVE TAYLOR
The Trimble Banner
“I did not see a bad team in the tourney!”

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That was Trimble County Coach Ruth Staples’ assessment of the competition in Saturday’s All A Classic state tournament in Paducah.

Trimble came in third in pool play, landing the Lady Raiders in the Bronze Division, according to Staples.  

Trimble was defeated by Bardstown Bethlehem, 0-2, and Allen Central, 0-2, before defeating Burgin, 2-1. Trimble then fell to Raceland, 1-2.

“The competition was very tough,” Staples said. “The second place team, Bardstown Bethlehem, came in second in our pool, then went on to be the runner up of the state title. We played with them in the second game of pool play losing 25 - 20. Allen Central who won our pool lost in the Gold Division to the Gold Division Champions Covington Holy Cross. We came in third in our pool, which landed us in the Bronze Division. Lexington Christian who won the Bronze Division, was a very strong team. We lost our first tournament game 25 – 22, then won 25 - 16, then lost 25 - 23. We were very close to advancing to the semi-finals of the Bronze Division.”

Trimble junior Kelsie Courtney made the all A Classic All Tournament Team. Statistically for the entire tournament Courtney was credited with 22 of 22 serves with three aces, 81 attacks with 56 kills, 23 blocks, and 21 digs.

Other standout performances for Trimble included: Sara Kuner, 39 of 41 serves with three aces, 97 of 100 sets, one kill and one block; Paige Black, 47 of 51 serves with eight aces, 55 attacks with 21 Kills, 11 blocks and 24 digs; Mckenna Ginn, 16 of 19 serves with one ace, 115 of 118 sets and two kills; Hannah Roberts, 23 of 25 serves with 4 Aces, and 28 digs; Kayla Greenwood 12 of 12 serves with one ace and two kills; Kayla Baker, five of six serves; and Jayde Snelling had 10 digs.

The week leading up to the tournament trip was not without drama, Staples said. The Class A tournament had been held at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond since the Class A event was inaugurated about three or four years ago.

“When Jim Hurst, our 8th Region Class A representative, congratulated me after capturing the title last Saturday, he told me we were going to Paducah to play in the State tournament, and Class A does not cover hotel accommodations,” Staples said. “I was floored to say the least!”

The coach later learned that the board of education nor the high school had funding to cover the trip as the volleyball budget was empty. The coaches and team put together a letter seeking donations from family, friends and local businesses “and with the help of a lot of generous people and businesses, we had enough money to cover two nights stay in Paducah, and three meals,” Staples said.

Fan support during Friday’s sendoff and during tournament play Saturday was “fantastic,” the coach said. “The high school sent us off with the band playing and the cheerleaders cheering and the students lining the gym and out the door to the bus,” Staples said.“Then we went to Bedford Elementary through their halls getting lots of high fives and low fives as the students lined the halls and cheered us on. All of this was with a Sheriff escort and the Fire Department following us!”

Fans were outside businesses and homes all through Bedford, Staples said. The Trimble County Middle School students stood in their parking lot to cheer the team on, and people all along U.S 42 “all the way to Pendleton  to cheer us on,” Staples said. “The players were really pumped up and excited all the way to Paducah! We have the best fan support I have ever seen. We had a great cheering crowd at all of our games.

“The girls were very well behaved on the trip, and represented our school and community very well,” Staples said. “They are already talking about how we will be a better team to compete in this tournament next year. Overall, I think the girls played quite well, and the experience was invaluable. We had hoped to finish in the top, but are proud that we were able to compete, and that we were able to win some games.”

This is the first Class A Regional Championship for the Trimble County High school volleyball program. The Lady Raiders were runners-up in the Regional Class A tournament last year to Owen County.

Trimble returned to action at home last night hosting North Oldham. In this week’s Kentucky High School Athletic Association standings Trimble County is #1 in the 8th Region with 12 wins and 2 losses. North Oldham is 2nd with 4 wins and 0 losses. Trimble’s overall record prior to last night’s outing was 13 – 5, North Oldham, 12 – 3. Results of last night’s contest were not available at press time.