Belles deny Lady Hornets in key conference road match

LITTLE ROCK — Going into the week, the Bryant Lady Hornets had a chance to put themselves in position to claim no worse than a 2 seed for the Class 7A State Tournament in Fayetteville. To do that, however, they needed to sweep the Mount St. Mary Academy Bells on the road on Thursday then knock off the Van Buren Pointerettes at home on Tuesday.

But they just weren’t quite able to get past the Belles, falling in yet another close match, 18-25, 23-25, 26-24, 20-25, making Tuesday’s match with Van Buren crucial in their bid to be one of the three teams from the Central Conference to qualify for State.

Bryant coach Lawrence Jefferson said, “We played well but could not overcome Mount St. Mary on their floor. Kendall Selig and Nikki Clay got a lot of tips while blocking, which slowed the hits down. Whitney Brown had 28 digs with only 3 dig errors. She has improved each match this year and takes a lot of pride in her defense.

“We had too many hitting errors and serving errors in the match to be successful,” he related. “Give credit to Mount St. Mary for their blocking of our hitters.”

Bryant had 32 kills but 26 hitting errors in 169 attempts. Allie Anderson led with 16 kills. Britney Sahlmann added six kills to go with her 18 assists, four service aces and 23 digs.

At the service line, Sahlmann was good on 19 of 22 serves. Brown got in all 14 her serves, Selig 13 of 13, and Clay was 11 for 11. Each had an ace.

Along with Brown’s 28 digs, Clay had 26.

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