There was a time when volleyball at Bryant High School was a sport for the girls that couldn’t make the basketball team. And, of course, in those glory days of basketball at BHS, every good female athlete in the school wanted to play basketball. There was no soccer program, softball was slow pitch and just for fun in the off-season, and track was a way for the basketball players to maintain their conditioning.
But all of those programs have evolved considerably in the interim, as well as the competitive side of cheer and dance.
Volleyball is no exception. Under the leadership of Beth Solomon over the last 11 years, Bryant has become a highly respected program in the largest classification and, in 2015, set a new program high mark with 28 wins.
On Wednesday, four members of that 2015 team signed letters of intent to continue their educations and careers in college, the most the program has ever produced in one year. Allie Anderson signed with Arkansas Tech, Whitney Brown signed with Southern Arkansas University, Britney Sahlmann signed with the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, and Savannah Shelton signed with Philander Smith College in Little Rock.
“This is a really proud day for me,” said Solomon. “This day is so special for each of these players and their families. It’s also a big day for our program. Without these four young ladies, our program would not be where it is today.”
The coach noted that several former players came to the signing ceremony.
“To think about where we were at when I first came to Bryant 11 years ago and where we are now with this group of girls is unreal,” she related.
Editor’s note: Individual stories about each signee forthcoming.