Lady Hornets take third at Russellville tournament

RUSSELLVILLE — The Bryant Lady Hornets bounced back from a tough 7A/6A-Central Conference loss to[more] the Conway Lady Cats with a strong showing at the Russellville Invitational Tournament on Saturday. Bryant finished third, losing in the semifinals to the host team, 1-2.

“Finishing third is an accomplishment for these girls,” stated Lady Hornets coach Beth Solomon. “We didn’t quite play to our ability level at the tournament. I think Saturday was a good day overall. The girls got to spend the day together doing some team bonding and working on some new things we’re going to add in for this week.”

Bryant hosts Van Buren in a conference match tonight then North Little Rock on Thursday.

“We’re looking forward to our game against Van Buren,” Solomon said. “Coming off of the loss to Conway last Thursday, the girls are ready to play.”

During Saturday’s tourney run, the Lady Hornets defeated North Little Rock twice, sweeping two games in pool play then two more in the first round of bracket play.

Also in pool play, they beat Greenbrier 2-0 and split two games with Vilonia. The second North Little Rock match preceded the loss to Russellville which ended the Lady Hornets’ day.

The day began with 25-18, 25-15 wins over Greenbrier. McKenzie Rice and Brooke Howell each had five kills while Hannah Rice added four and Brianna White two. Alyssa Anderson had three solo blocks.

Taylor West led with three digs and six assists. She also had two aces while serving as did Howell. McKenzie Rice served for three aces.

Against Vilonia, Bryant dropped the first game 23-25 but came back for a 25-13 win. Anderson and Howell each had five kills, Hannah Rice four and Peyton Thacker three.

West again led with seven assists. Hannah Rice had five assists and served for six aces. Lauren Reed came up with nine digs. Courtney Davidson and Rochelle Aguilar had four each.

In the pool play win over North Little Rock, the Lady Hornets eked out a 25-24 win in the first game then eased to a 25-16 victory in the second set.

Howell knocked down 11 kills in the match. Anderson had four. White and Anderson each had a solo block. Hannah Rice contributed 12 assists, West eight. McKenzie Rice contributed eight digs. Reed and Anderson served up aces.

In the tournament win over the Lady Charging Wildcats, Bryant recorded 25-14, 25-14 wins in which six different players contributed kills, led by Anderson’s four. West had seven assists and Hannah Rice six. The Lady Hornets served up 10 aces with Hannah Rice accounting for three while Anderson, Howell and Reed contributed two each.

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