Trimble County's volleyballers didn't win a district game this season but the Lady Raiders were still impressive enough to garner their coach an impressive postseason honor.
Ruth Staples, who has guided Trimble's volleyball program since its inception, has been named Eighth Region Coach of the Year in voting by her peers.
The award is all the more impressive considering that North Oldham, which ousted Trimble from the 31st District Tournament, reached the state semifinals before falling in five sets.
"I was quite surprised. It's quite an honor," said Staples. "It's easy to coach when you have a great group of players and that's what I had. They made my job much easier."
Trimble County failed to break through with a win against the elite teams this past season but made up for it by beating everybody else on their schedule.
The Raiders tied the school record for wins with 21 and all eight of their losses came either in the All "A" Classic State Finals or against the Oldham County schools. Trimble went 12-0 in the North Central Kentucky Conference for the second-straight year and won the All "A" Classic Eighth Region title for the second-straight time.
"We went undefeated in the NCKC last year and I think that might have caught some of the coaches' attention," Staples said. "A lot of those coaches are in the Eighth Region and I think they probably voted for me."
Two of Trimble's eight losses were to North Oldham, which finished the year with a 30-11 record. The Raiders played well in both losses despite falling in straight sets.
"It doesn't look as bad when you lose to a team that went to the final four," Staples said. "And they were close to going to the finals."
Trimble also lost to Oldham County in a match the Raiders led 2-1 at one point. Under last year's rules, when matches were best-of-three affairs, Trimble would have scored the win.
Staples was honored by the Kentucky Volleyball Coaches Association at the state finals along with Eighth Region Player of the Year Madison Tinder of North Oldham and the rest of the region coaches of the year.
Allen Central, which beat Trimble in the All "A" Classic State Finals, had both the player and coach of the year in the 15th Region, Courtney Hodge and Larry Maynard. Caldwell County, which also beat Trimble in the state finals, had the Second Region Player of the Year in Jessie Stone.
"It's exciting and the girls are excited," Staples said. "I'm humbled."
The list of players and coaches of the year: Region 1 - Cydnie Wiggins, Ballard Memorial; Adam Solomon, Ballard Memorial. Region 2 - Jessie Stone, Caldwell Co.; Mary Howard, Henderson Co.. Region 3 - Chelsea Howard, Trinity (Whitesville); Kendra Carroll, Apollo. Region 4 - Samantha Mosher, Greenwood; Holly Whittinghill, Greenwood. Region 5 - Abbey Sorrells, Central Hardin; Lynne Givens, Green Co. Region 6 - Courtney Crable, Mercy; Todd Garvey, Mercy. Region 7 - Taylor Paulson, Assumption; Bill Payne, Louisville Male. Region 8 - Madison Tinder, North Oldham; Ruth Staples, Trimble Co. Region 9 - Abbey Bessler, St. Henry; Maureen Kaiser, St. Henry. Region 10 - Kirby Seiter, Campbell Co.; Andrea Sullivan, Scott. Region 11 - Kendall Beerman, Tates Creek; Jennifer Morgan, Paul Dunbar. Region 12 - Erin Cottrell, Southwestern; Skip Cottrell, Southwestern. Region 13 - Vanessa Wiseman, Corbin; Liberty Roberts, Corbin. Region 14 - Julie Cornett, Letcher Co. Central; Betty Caudill, Letcher Co. Central. Region 15 - Courtney Hodge, Allen Central; Larry Maynard, Allen Central. Region 16 - Breanna Grubb, Raceland; Jason Clark, Raceland.