File photo by Rick Nation
HOT SPRINGS — The Bryant Lady Hornets, led by senior outside hitter Allie Anderson who was on her way to 34 kills in the match, were dominating the Hot Springs Lakeside Lady Rams early in their match on Thursday. They rolled to 25-12, 25-12 wins in the first two games but, in game three, Lakeside surged and survived to extend the match, 28-26. With the momentum, the Lady Rams won game four 25-15 so a match that looked like it was going to be quickly decided was suddenly hanging in the balance in a fifth game.
The Lady Hornets prevailed 15-6 to take the match.
“I told the girls there is a new quote that I read recently that says, ‘You never lose. You either win or you learn,’” related Bryant head coach Beth Solomon. “That’s what we did in games three and four tonight. We learned something about ourselves. The girls learned what it takes to finish a game that should be over in three. They learned what happens when that momentum shifts and how hard it is to get it back. They learned how to overcome the inconsistencies of play.
“Hopefully all of these things that we learned will carry over to Saturday when we play at (Little Rock) Spikefest,” she added. “It will be a good time to work on becoming more and more consistent.”
The Lady Hornets will compete in a pool hosted by Little Rock Christian on Saturday in the Spikefest. They take on Wynne at 10 a.m., Searcy at noon and Little Rock Christian at 1 p.m.
On Thursday, Bryant’s junior varsity won in two sets 25-19, 25-20.
In the varsity match at Lakeside, sophomore Raven Loveless added 12 kills. Seniors Britney Sahlmann and Kendall Selig had four each while Brittney Warner, Sarah Kennedy and Savannah Shelton pitched in with one apiece.
Sahlmann added 41 assists and 11 digs. Whitney Brown came up with 20 digs while Shayla McKissock contributed seven, Shelton five and Anderson four. Kaci Squires, Selig and Loveless had three each.
The Lady Hornets got 89 percent of their serves in. Though Anderson had four service errors, she also came up with three aces. Brown, Shelton and Sahlmann each had two aces. Selig got in all 17 of her serves. Brown was good on 13 of 14, Squires was 12 of 13 and Sahlmann was good on 11 of 12.
“Our first two games, we looked fantastic,” Solomon said. “The girls were playing well, getting up by a lead, and staying up. Instead of playing down to a team we are beating, we kept drilling them with hits and serves that they couldn’t return.
“Then, all of a sudden, in game three, we stopped playing with our ‘extra’ intensity that we had been using,” she added. “We went back and forth with them the entire game and couldn’t pull out the win in the end. Game four got even worse and we lost by like 10 points. We regrouped and pulled it back together for game five and pulled out the win.”
In the JV match, Reagan Blend and Shaelyn Smith each had four kills. Sarah Kennedy had three, Jad’n Nichols two and Reagan Blend one.
The team only had six errors on 48 serves. Kasey Ward was good on 10 of 11 serves with an ace. Smith had two aces with Ashlyn Lee, Kennedy, Blend and Kyla Baker contributing one apiece.
Bryant opens 7A/6A-Central Conference play at home against Alma on Thursday, Sept. 3.