On October 3rd, the two top volleyball teams in northeastern Kentucky met at Bill Mike Runyon court in Paintsville. The game ended early in the 3rd match due to defending All-Area Player of the Year, Taylor Bartrum, going down with a head injury. Hustling to save the point, she sustained a head injury after diving into the bleachers. After being worked on for several minutes, Bartrum was able to walk out of the gym, giving a thumbs up. The Lions chose to forfeit the match after the injury.
It was an unfortunate and early ending to what was one of the most exciting and competitive games in the mountains this season with Paintsville (30-2) being the top team in the 15th region and being ranked 23rd in the state and Boyd County (26-4) ranked 1st in the 16th region.
Before the game was stopped, the Tigers led the match 2-0, winning the first set 25-23 and dominating in the second, 25-16. Boyd County came back from 6 points down in the third set to lead 21-18 at the time of Taylor’s injury.
The powerhouse that is Hailey Little led the Tigers to their 13th consecutive victory. She slammed down 12 kills, had 8 digs, 3 serving aces, and a block. 8th grader Kylie Kinner followed with 10 kills herself and had a solo block. Blair Ratfliff had 8 kills and 3 passes. Kara Ward killed 7 balls and led the team with 13 passes. She also served 2 aces. Senior setter Bella Blackburn set up 35 assists, had 6 passes, and added 2 kills. Libero Kenzie Slone added 11 passes. Kat Baldwin had 5 passes, 3 serving aces, 2 assists, and a block.
Paintsville is back in action at home on Oct. 10 against Prestonsburg
Boyd County plays in the Eastern Kentucky Tournament of Champions at Rowan County on Oct. 7.
Photo courtesy of Lisa Little