Cabot South surges early and late to pin setback on Bryant in freshman match

CABOT — With a pair of starters out with injuries of a major nature and others who were[more] unable to practice during the week because of injuries of a nagging variety, the Bryant Lady Hornets freshman volleyball team has been scrambling of late.

“I think the saying for us right now is ‘if we didn’t have back luck then we would have no luck at all,’” stated Lady Hornets coach Monica Parish after her team’s 6-25, 25-22, 21-25 loss to Cabot South on Tuesday. “On Tuesday, we had only nine players for practice. So we had to make some major adjustments and play girls in positions that they normally do not play. So, understandably, this led to some indecision and spacing problems that Cabot took advantage of.”

Now 4-5 overall and 3-2 in the Central Arkansas Junior High Conference, the Lady Hornets return to the floor at home against Conway Blue on Thursday, Sept. 29.

“We have Monday as an open date so I am looking forward to practicing the next few days with all our players,” Parish mentioned. “We can then play together and get used to our new rotation.”

The Lady Hornets never quite got on track in the first game of the match. They trailed 3-6 then Cabot South reeled off nine straight points.

“We fell apart in that rotation,” Parish said. “We had four passing errors and five hitting errors.”

They got it going in the second set though the Lady Panthers held an early lead. A kill by Nikki Clay off a set by Mercedes Dillard produced a side-out then Abby Staton served up an ace and the Lady Hornets surged into the lead to stay.

Clay served up an ace to make it 11-8. Taylor Lindberg broke the Cabot serve at 12-10 with a kill off a set from Clay then Dillard’s kill off of Lindberg’s set made it 14-10.

Cabot was able to rally for a tie at 16 and it was tight until Clay took over serving with her team up 21-20. The Lady Hornets scored a rally point then Dillard knocked down a kill off an assist by Clay to make it 23-20.

Cabot cut it to 23-22 but Bryant regained control on a kill by Sydney Gogus then she served for the game-point.

“Once we took the lead, we had to battle but we pulled through for the win,” Parish recounted. “Our passes were much better this game, and good passes lead to good offense.”

In the third game, Cabot built a 17-7 lead but a kill by Dillard off a feed from Gogus helped start a Bryant comeback. Henson served for points 11 through 13 and, later, when Lindberg’s kill of a set by Clay produced a side-out, Lindberg put together a service run to cut it to 17-20. A kill by Gogus from Dillard highlighted the stretch.

Cabot pushed it back out to 23-18 but Staton served up an ace, Bryant picked up a point off a rally then Gogus got another kill off a set by Dillard.

But 21-23 was as close as they could get at Cabot South forced a side-out and closed out the victory.

“I like the comeback in the third game,” Parish mentioned. “We were working together in that third game.”

Lindberg contribute five kills and five digs. Gogus and Dillard each had four kills. Gogus also contributed five digs. Clay had three kills and three digs. Staton ad Henson each had one kill. Staton pitched in with two digs as did Sarah Shepard.

Henson and Staton each served up a pair of aces. Dillard and Clay added one apiece.

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