Prep Volleyball Notebook: Week 6

NWA Democrat-Gazette/BEN GOFF @NWABENGOFF Tori Lowry (from left) of Bentonville hits the ball into the block of Tori Sugg and Lauren Thompson of Springdale Har-Ber in the third set Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017, during the match in Bentonville's Tiger Arena.
Tori Lowry (from left) of Bentonville hits the ball into the block of Tori Sugg and Lauren Thompson of Springdale Har-Ber in the third set Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017, during the match in Bentonville’s Tiger Arena.


Rogers Hgh

The Lady Mounties likely get senior Madelyn Tauai back this week from a concussions, which could be just in time for a huge match against Van Buren.<br><br>

Rogers (10-16) is one of three teams tied for fifth at 3-6 in the 7A-West Conference. It got the season sweep of crosstown rival Rogers Heritage last week, but could do the same against the Lady Pointers on Thursday.<br><br>

Van Buren, Rogers and Bentonville West are the three teams tied with five matches left. Rogers coach Christina Lawrence said Tauai could play Tuesday against Fayetteville. <br><br>

Rogers pushed Har-Ber, which is currently tied for second, to five sets last week even with Tauai, but couldn’t come away with the win after taking the first two sets.<br><br>

Rogers Heritage

The Lady War Eagles (4-16-1) picked up their fourth win of the season over the weekend at the Fort Smith Southside Invitational, even without a pair of key players.<br><br>

Heritage defeated Vilonia and lost a tough three-set match to Alma in Fort Smith on Saturday. It was without freshman outside hitter Sydney Frus and senior setter Jacklyn Neff. Both suffered knee injuries last week.<br><br>

Both Frus and Neff will be evaluated by doctors to determine their status for the remainder of the seaosn, coach Lindsey Biocic said. The Lady War Eagles (0-9 7A-West) travel to Van Buren on Tuesday, then play at Fayetteville on Thursday.<br><br>

— Paul Boyd • @NWAPaulB


Following a 3-0 victory at Bentonville West on Thursday, the Lady Bulldogs went 3-2 at the Briarcrest (Tenn.) Invitational in Tennessee on Friday and Saturday.

It’s the third consecutive weekend of Fayetteville traveling to tournaments to take on difficult out-of-state opponents. It went 2-3 at a tourney in Missouri the previous weekend and 3-3 at a Las Vegas area tourney the prior weekend.

Eight of the team’s 10 losses came during those tournaments with its lone two losses inside Arkansas coming against 7A-West front-runner Bentonville High.

“We have to continue learning from each match and get better down the road,” Fayetteville coach Jessica Phelan said. “I think we still have another step in us, and hope we can find that here in the next few weeks.”

A few statistics to note from the weekend include Haley Warner with 69 kills, including 21 kills with a hitting percentage of .650 to go along with 10 digs in a 2-0 victory against St. Benedict of Auburndale (Cordova, Tenn.) on Friday. The senior also tallied 31 assists during the five, best-of-three matches.

Senior Ella May Powell with 93 assists, 22 kills, 26 digs and 6 blocks during the tourney. Senior Carley Galloway had 53 digs and 69 serve receptions.

Freshman Rosana Hicks had 22 kills while sophomore Amelia Whatley had chipped in 16 kills. Junior Lyndsey Mylius had five or more kills twice.

— Mike Capshaw • @NWACappy

Springdale Har-Ber

Coach Shyrah Schisler’s Lady Wildcats are hitting their stride.

Bentonville has won 16 straight matches, but Har-Ber is starting to gain steam as well after winning the Fort Smith Invitational over the weekend, pushing its winning streak to six matches. It was also the fourth straight finals appearance in the tournament for Har-Ber.

The Lady Wildcats took down Little Rock Central, Mt. St. Mary Academy, Northside and Southside to claim the tournament title. The Lady Wildcats lost just one set in the River Valley — to Southside in the finals.

That four-match stretch capped a successful week. Early last week, Har-Ber fended off Rogers in five sets and swept rival Springdale. Har-Ber also hit the 20-win mark in Fort Smith in its win against Northside and moves into Week 2 of the second half of conference play at 21-6 overall and 7-2 in the 7A-West. The 21 wins are the most among 7A-West programs.

Jayci Carpenter totaled 12 aces in four matches in the tournament, and Lauren Thompson had 41 kills. Natalie Williams also recorded 63 assists.

This week, Har-Ber hosts Bentonville (20-3, 9-0) on Tuesday and Thursday the Lady Wildcats travel to Bentonville West.

– Scottie Bordelon • @NWAScottie

Springdale High

Springdale’s improvements from Year 1 to Year 2 under coach Meagan Thompson are evident.

After a 2-2 weekend at the Fort Smith Invitational, the Lady Red’Dogs have now more than doubled their win total from 2016. Through 20 matches this season, Springdale stands at 11-8-1 and 4-5 in the 7A-West.

In Fort Smith, Springdale beat Little Rock Christian and Van Buren to finish off a 3-3 week. Jessie Davis led the Lady Red’Dogs with seven kills against Little Rock Christian and five players finished with four or more kills against the Lady Pointers. Lauren Bench contributed three aces as well.

This week, Springdale travels to Bentonville West before hosting a strong Bentonville team Thursday. The Lady Red’Dogs took down West in their first meeting this season, using 13 kills from Zoe Schmidt and 12 from KeKe Turner to grab a win. Kaleigh Breathitt added 24 digs.

Turner’s play Thursday at Springdale Har-Ber was impressive despite the loss. Thompson has urged Turner to begin matches more aggressively, and she responded. Turner recorded a team-best eight kills and tallied five blocks in the sweep.

“We’ve been striving the last couple of games for her to just play her game,” Thompson said Thursday. “She did that tonight. To come out here in a tough match and turn it on is something we’ve been looking for her to do.”

Springdale has a difficult stretch of matches ahead with three on the road (West, Van Buren, Rogers) and Fayetteville and Bentonville at home.

– Scottie Bordelon • @NWAScottie

Bentonville High

Bentonville enjoys at least a two-game lead over everybody else in the 7A-West Conference standings, and now the Lady Tigers must work on keeping that distance.

“Our biggest thing right now is our girls must stay level-footed,” coach Michelle Smith said. “It’s only going to get harder from here because that target on our back is going to get bigger.”

Bentonville (20-3, 9-0) is now 17th in the latest MaxPreps national computer rankings after 3-0 sweeps last week over defending state champion Fayetteville and Van Buren. The Lady Tigers, however, will hit the road for an important two-match week.

Springdale Har-Ber provides the competition Tuesday night for Bentonville, which will also travel to Springdale High for its Thursday match.

“Playing on the road is going to be a challenge,” Smith said. “Har-Ber is going to be a great match and an exciting match, then Springdale is much improved over last year. We’ll need to be focused for that match as well.”

— Henry Apple • @NWAHenry

Bentonville West

West took three of four matches Saturday and earned a third-place finish at the Fort Smith Invitational in Southside Gymnasium.

The Lady Wolverines (11-15) took two of three sets in their first two matches to reach the semifinals, defeating Shiloh Christian 11-25, 25-23, 15-10 in the first round and North Little Rock 26-24, 16-25, 19-17 in the semifinals. West then suffered a 25-22, 25-18 loss to Southside.

That dropped the Lady Wolverines  into the third-place match, where they bounced back and took a close 25-23, 25-22 match against Fort Smith Northside. Sophomore Kortney Puckett earned all-tournament honors for her play.

West returns to 7A-West Conference play this week with a pair of home matches. The Lady Wolverines host Springdale High in Tuesday’s match, then will play Springdale Har-Ber in Thursday’s action.

— Henry Apple • @NWAHenry

Paul Boyd

Paul Boyd

Sports Reporter at NWA Media
Paul Boyd is a sports reporter for NWA Media. His primary beat is Rogers Heritage, as well as West Fork and Gentry.
Paul Boyd

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