Lady Hornets continue to adjust, improve at tourney

CONWAY — The Bryant Lady Hornets volleyball team reached the semifinals of the Bronze bracket of the Lady Cats Invitational Tournament at Conway Saturday. In bracket play, they swept the Hot Springs Lakeside Lady Rams, 25-17, 25-19 before suffering a loss in a nail-biter against Brookland Lady Bearcats, 26-24, 19-25, 14-16.

In pool play, the Lady Hornets spit with Greene County Tech, 25-23, 23-25, and lost to Fort Smith Southside, 16-25, 10-25. Southside is the top team in the West Conference.

“We had a good day,” said Bryant coach Beth Solomon. “Overall I was very happy with how we played, other than the second game against Southside.

“The girls are starting to get used to their new line-up and playing well together,” she added, referring to the injuries that have plagued the varsity line-up recently.

Injuries have sidelined Nikki Clay, Shayla McKissock, Seirra Jones and Kendall Selig who were all in the varsity rotation earlier in the season.

The Lady Hornets return to South Conference action on Tuesday, Oct. 15, with a trip to Texarkana, hoping to avenge a close loss to the Lady Razorbacks in Bryant on Sept. 19.

“It’s a long road trip game,” acknowledged Solomon. “Every game matters, and the girls know it. Hopefully we will have a different outcome this time than we did the last time we played them.”

The two teams are tied for third in the conference but, more importantly, the Lady Hornets are ranked fifth in the ratings points standings of the 7A-West, just two points behind Springdale.

In the final game Saturday against Brookland, sophomore Allie Anderson led the team with 10 kills. Mariah Aguilar had four and Mercedes Dillard 3. Britney Sahlmann was good on all 17 of her serves with a team-high four aces. She also contributed two kills, 2.5 blocks, four digs and 18 assists.

Dejai Kelley was in on 2.5 blocks as well adding a kill. Whitney Brown came through with 14 digs.

In the win over Lakeside, Sahlmann had four aces and Anderson two to go with a team-high seven kills. Dillard and Rylee Phillips added five kills each and Sahlmann had three. Sahlmann added 18 assists. Brown led with seven digs and Kaci Squires had six.

Against Greene County Tech, Savannah Shelton served up three aces with Abby Staton and Brown adding one each. Anderson’s nine kills came in addition to a block. Dillard and Aguilar finished with five kills each. Dillard led with two blocks. Sahlmann finished with 15 assists and Brown had 10 digs, Shelton five and Squires four.

The Lady Hornets were good on 96 percent of their serves against Southside but managed just three aces (two by Sahlmann) and 10 kills as a team. Aguilar finished with four kills and Anderson three. Sahlmann and Kelley had a block each. Sahlmann set for seven assists and, along with Squires, Dillard and Shelton had two digs each. Brown finished with six.


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