It was a showdown of the county’s two volleyball programs Saturday in the first Lady Colonel First Priority Volleyball Classic.
Corbin and Whitley County played in opposite pools of the tournament and came away the top seeds. Corbin defeated Middlesboro (21-8, 21-8) and Campbell County (Tenn.) 21-13, 21-18, Friday night while the Lady Colonels turned back Bell County (21-9, 21-2) and South Laurel (21-14, 18-21, 15-13).
The teams entered Saturday mornings play with 2-0 records. Corbin defeated North Laurel (21-8, 20-22, 15-4) while Whitley County beat Jellico (21-7, 21-13) to win their third games of pool play.
They both took the top seed after Whitley County beat Lincoln County (21-15, 21-12) and Corbin downed Knox Central (21-12, 21-16).
Those victories gave Corbin and Whitley County byes in the elimination part of the tournament. Whitley County took on Lincoln County after the Lady Patriots rolled past North Laurel in the first-round. The Lady Colonels had a tough time getting past the Lady Patriots for the second time. They lost the first set 22-25, but came back to win the next set, 25-18 and won the tie-breaker, 15-7. Corbin advanced to the semi-final round after taking care of Knox Central, 25-18, 25-15.
In the semifinals, Whitley County had to go three sets to get past Jellico. Whitley County lost the first set, 22-25, then won 25-22 and 15-11 to reach the championship game. Corbin put away South Laurel, 25-22, 25-19.
That set the stage for an all-Whitley County final. Corbin eased out to a lead and went on to win set one, 25-15. The second set was much tougher as the teams went back and fourth until the Lady Redhounds pulled out a 25-22 win.
Although the teams are in Whitley County, they are in different high school districts. They are both favored to repeat as district champions and likely could meet for the 13th Region title next month.