Bentonville coach Michelle Smith said her team’s match Thursday against Rogers High provided some “good medicine” for her team when it came to this week’s schedule.
“It made sure we weren’t going to take Rogers Heritage and Bentonville West for granted this week,” Smith said. “Then we have to go to Jenks, Okla., and play Friday, and that’s going to be a tough tournament.”
Bentonville (11-3, 5-0) remained unbeaten in 7A-West play, but the Lady Tigers were pushed to the five-set limit by a Rogers team that “played a phenomenal match,” according to Smith. The Lady Mounties won the opening set, then forced a fifth set after Bentonville had taken a 2-1 lead.
That led to a more intense practice session when the Lady Tigers took the floor again Friday afternoon.
“I think we got a lot accomplished,” Smith said. “It was good for our team focus after a win where we underachieved. That was disappointing for our coaching staff to see, but I think it brought our team back to earth and let them be more focused on the next match.”
— Henry Apple • @NWAHenry
The Lady Bulldogs accomplished what many Las Vegas visitors can only hope to do during a trip to Sin City: break even.
Fayetteville (11-4) posted a 3-3 record to finish 23rd out of 64 teams at the Durango Fall Classic, a two-day event played at high schools in the Las Vegas area.
After losing 2-0 against Los Angeles Marymont in the tourney opener on Friday, the Lady Bulldogs won their next three against Lake Arrowhead (Calif.) Rim of the World, Carlsbad (Calif.) La Costa Canyon and Queen Creek, Ariz. They then lost 2-1 and 2-0 to Pleasant Grove (Utah) High and Murrieta (Calif.) Vista, respectively.
Each of Fayetteville’s three losses came against teams that finished fifth or higher in their respective brackets.
Haley Warner had 78 kills during the six matches and posted kill percentages of 50 percent or higher in each of the three wins. Against Queen Creek, the senior had a tourney-best 19 kills with a 67.9 kill percentage and a .571 hitting percentage. She also had three or her six aces during the tournament in that match.
As usual, Ella May Powell filled most every category on the statistics sheet with totals of 92 assists (high of 27 vs. La Costa) and 41 kills (high of 9 vs. La Costa) to go along with 30 digs, 20 receptions, 7 blocks and 6 aces.
Senior Carley Galloway had 73 serve receptions during the tournament. She had 10 or more in all but one match led by a tourney-best 17 in a 2-1 win against La Costa Canyon on Friday. She also had 30 digs total.
The Lady Bulldogs are 4-1 in 7A-West play heading into Tuesday’s home match against Springdale High. They travel to Van Buren on Thursday before playing in another out-of-state tournament this weekend with three matches at the Blue Springs (Mo.) South Volleyball Tournament.
— Mike Capshaw • @NWACappy
The Lady Mounties didn’t come up with the win Thursday against league-leading Bentonville, but even coach Christina Lawrence said it showed what the team can do when they work together.<br><br>
Rogers (7-11, 2-3 7A-West) pushed the Lady Tigers to five sets before falling in a hard-fought match. Senior Hannah Martin was huge with a match-high 19 kills to go with 11 digs, nine blocks and three aces. But Lawrence how her team perfomed overall.<br><br>
“We’ve been trying to get them to pull it all together and work hard at practice,” Lawrence said. “I think they finally realized tonight, we’re not just wasting our breath. They put it all together. We had everybody here and it’s like we’ve been preaching all year, we’ve got the talent.”<br><br>
Rogers has a big week coming up, hosting Bentonville West on Tuesday and traveling to Springdale High. All those teams start the week in a four-way tie for fourth with Van Buren.<br><br>
The Lady War Eagles are still looking for their first 7A-West Conference win, but played well in a four-set loss at Bentonville West on Thursday.<br><br>
Heritage (3-9-1, 0-5 7A-West) won a tough 31-29 second set to tie the match 1-1, but lost 25-22 and 25-21 to fall at West. Sydny Frus, a 5-11 freshman, provided the offense with 15 kills for the Lady War Eagles. Erica Reaser and Berenice Morales contributed 17 digs each to anchor the defense. <br><br>
Heritage’s quest for its first league win continues this week when the Lady War Eagles host league-leading Bentonville on Tuesday, then travels to Springdale Har-Ber on Thursday.<br><br>
— Paul Boyd • @NWAPaulB
Springdale Har-Ber fell in straight sets for the second time in three matches Wednesday at rival Fayetteville.
But this week, the Lady Wildcats have a pair of chances to impose their will and grab two conference wins before a weekend trip to the Jenks (Okla.) Invitational.
“I think we’re learning how to play with each other,” Har-Ber coach Shyrah Schisler said. “But I see that we are coming into practice and we’re working harder and learning how to fix the things we didn’t do well in games.”
Van Buren is up first Tuesday. The Lady Pointers are coming off an impressive five-set comeback win at Springdale last Thursday. Trailing 2-0 entering the third set, Van Buren took over and used its positive energy and a big night from Alex Dupree (12 kills, 3 aces) to grab win No. 2 in league.
“I know that they’re a team that can have success, and they’ve been pretty solid. We’re looking forward to playing at home and playing Har-Ber volleyball and having a lot of energy,” Schisler said. “They’ve got a lot of heart, so that’ll be good for us to learn.”
Thursday, Har-Ber travels to Rogers Heritage, who’s lost seven consecutive matches and is yet to earn its first win in 7A-West play. The Lady War Eagles have dropped 15 of 16 sets in league matches to this point.
Lady Wildcats senior Lauren Thompson has also reached a milestone in an already illustrious career at Har-Ber. She led Har-Ber with 452 kills as a junior and, with 200 kills through 14 matches this season, is at 1,106 for her career. She eclipsed 1,000 career kills vs. Greenwood on Aug. 26 in a 17-kill effort.
– Scottie Bordelon • @NWAScottie
Coach Meagan Thompson walked away from last Thursday’s five-set home loss to Van Buren understandably frustrated.
Springdale made an alarming number of unforced hitting errors, and crossed the center-court line at a much higher rate than usual, she said after the match. The loss dropped Springdale to 2-3 in 7A-West play with two challenging matches upcoming.
The loss sent four teams into a logjam at 2-3 in league matches. This week, the Lady Red’Dogs get their first shot at one of them – Rogers High. But first, a Tuesday trip to Fayetteville, who swept Springdale Har-Ber last Wednesday before placing well in a national tournament in Las Vegas.
Bentonville, to this point, has separated itself from the rest of the league, leaving Har-Ber and Fayetteville battling for the 2-3 spots. After that, the clump of 2-3 clubs can make early headway toward a potential state tournament berth with key wins to close out the first half of conference.
With a win this week, Springdale can take a big step. Rogers pushed Bentonville to five sets in King Arena last week, so the challenges are obvious. But if Springdale, at home, files away its mistake-riddled performance vs. Van Buren, the Lady Red’Dogs can get back on track.
– Scottie Bordelon • @NWAScottie
The Lady Wolverines find themselves in a four-team logjam for fourth place in the 7A-West standings as they close out the first half of conference play this week.
That will become a little less cluttered after Tuesday night’s match as West travels to Rogers High, one of the other teams that sport a 2-3 record in league play.
The Lady Wolverines added to the logjam Thursday night when they defeated Rogers Heritage 3-1 at Wolverine Arena. Sophomore Kortney Puckett delivered a game-high 19 kills for West (5-9), while Kerryann Ptacek added 13 and freshman Emerson Traveek chipped in 10.
The Lady Wolverines stepped out of league competition Saturday against Greenwood, where they suffered a 3-0 sweep by the Lady Bulldogs. Puckett again led the team with 10 kills.
West will close out the first half of conference action Thursday night against league-leading Bentonville.
— Henry Apple • @NWAHenry