By Chris Morgan
The Bryant Lady Hornets volleyball team played their second game against a Hot Springs area team Tuesday night. The team faced off against the Fountain Lake Lady Cobras in their final test before opening conference play later this week and absorbed a 25-21, 21-25, 23-25, 25-20, 9-15 loss.
Bryant struggled early finding themselves behind 0-4 but managed to turn the tide and score three unanswered points. Truli Bates combined with Emma Buiting to produce a block which tied up the match, after the slow start, bringing the set score to five apiece.
The Lady Hornets, still looking for their first lead of the night, re-tied up the game with a Beatriz Hernandez kill to bring the score to 12 all. Bates would come through with another block, this time pairing with Faith Stone giving the Lady Hornets the lead 13-12.
The set continued with both teams trading blows before Madelyn Hoskins came through with a kill, moving the team into the lead 22-21. The Lady Hornets would pick up yet another block again with Bates combining with Hernandez moving the lead to 23-21 in the Lady Hornets’ favor. The team would carry this momentum to the end of the set winning 25-21.
The Lady Hornets were aided by six Lady Cobra serving errors, while producing three of their own and one ace from Cassie Ray.
Bryant was forced to come back yet again after finding themselves behind 1-4 in the second set with back to back serving errors, and a missed block by Bates and Buiting. However, back to back to back aces from Cora Edwards kept the Lady Hornets in the hunt, at 13 apiece.
Hoskins would make her presence heard once again with a quick tip into a gap in the Lady Cobra defense. The Lady Hornets would succumb to a late five-point rally by Fountain Lake, capped with a close call along the sideline in front of the Hornet bench, which the refs gave in favor of the Cobras putting them at set point. The Lady Hornets fell in the set 21-25 with three aces from Edwards, with four serving errors, while the Lady Cobras had the same.
In a change of events, the Lady Hornets built a lead in the beginning of the third set opening up a 3-1 score. The Lady Cobras would manage a response of their own, tying the match at 4-4. Ivory Russ came through with a monster strike that a Lady Cobra player miraculously kept in play, while also being staggered, much to the excitement of both teams’ benches and fans.
Stone and Hoskins would combine to produce a block to tie the game at 15 all. With the set running close to the end with the score 18-19 in Lady Cobras’ favor, the Fountain Lake coach asked for a hold of play as commotion was seen in the Fountain Lake stands. An elderly Fountain Lake fan appeared to have fainted on the top row of bleachers, causing the head ref to hold play so she could receive medical attention. The match was held for approximately 15 minutes while paramedics arrived to help the woman. The woman was able to make it down the bleacher steps with the assistance of medical staff to the relief of everyone in the arena. Play was continued, but the Lady Hornets could not mange a come back and fell in the set 23-25.
Not producing as many blocks and also not being gifted by Lady Cobra serving errors, the Lady Hornets appeared flustered and fell behind 5-8 in the fourth game. The team managed a four-point rally to boost morale pulling ahead 9-8.
Again, both teams would continue to trade scoring as the Lady Hornets broke through with a solo block from Bates moving into the lead 14-13. The set would be ended with the Lady Hornets finding a weakness in the Lady Cobra defenses. Stone came through with four of the Lady Hornets’ final points of the set, dominating the left side of the court. The breakaway would allow the team to pull off a 25-20 win which forced a fifth set. The Lady Hornets had four serving errors and one ace, while the Lady Cobras only gave up one error.
To start the final set, Lady Hornets created a comfortable 5-0 lead. The Lady Cobras would yet again have a response, scoring eight unanswered points until broken up by another Bates block. The Lady Hornets would regroup but gave up back to back serving aces, which were Fountain Lake’s first aces of the night. The Lady Cobras a 7-13 lead.
It would be a serving error that would put the Lady Cobras at match point. They would go on to close out the set 9-15.
“We told them that they had to get in their heads that they can win a ballgame, that’s their biggest issue,” said Bryant head coach Beth Solomon. “Thursday, we start conference, so we will get it turned around. They can do it.”
The Lady Hornets record falls to 2-4-1, as the team prepares to host Fort Smith Northside at home on Tursday.