LITTLE ROCK — Without their full contingent of players and playing their first match of the season in hostile territory,[more] the Bryant White Lady Hornets eighth grade volleyball team of Bryant Middle School circled the wagons and swept The Anthony School Lady Panthers 25-23, 25-18, on Tuesday, Aug. 30.
In seventh grade action, the Lady Hornets started out strong but the Lady Panthers turned it around to win in three games, 18-25, 25-12, 15-2.
The Bryant White eighth graders were set to travel to Lake Hamilton tonight.
Because Tuesday’s game coincided with the opener for the Bryant White football team, the Lady Hornets were short several players that were performing on the cheearleading and dance squads at the football game. That included a pair of starters.
“We had a lot of changes and people were out of their normal rotation,” said Lady Hornets coach DeAnna Ward. “The first set, we struggled with that and made some errors. The second set we were more focused and they stepped up and made it happen.
“I was proud of them,” she added.
Ward called Skylar Davis the bright spot in the first game as she served points 2 through 6 and 14 through 17 then closed it out with the 25th point.
In game two, Lara White served points 11 through 16 and Reagan Smith came in off the bench and served points 2 through 5 and 18 through 20.
Of the seventh grade match, Ward said, “The first set we looked good. The girls did a good job of talking and moving their feet. We were tied 18-18 then Sarah Palmer served points 19 to 25 to win the game.
“I played all my girls the second set,” she noted. “I saw some good things. Taylor Crawley was consistent on her play.
“I also saw some good things we need to work on,” the coach continued. “We struggled some because we were having to serve behind the line. Normally, seventh graders are allowed to move up but, when you travel some times, you run into things like that.
“The third set was ugly,” Ward said. “But I take full responsibility for that. My first group got cold sitting out the second set and just couldn’t break the serve.”
Anthony had a server roll through 13 points in a row.
“I called two timeouts and started subbing trying to change things up but she was a serving machine and we panicked a little,” Ward recounted. “There is no recovering from that when you only go to 15.”