Lady Hornets unable to maintain second-set momentum at Texarkana

TEXARKANA — As the end of the regular season looms, the Bryant Lady Hornets are in a fight for seeding with the Springdale Lady Bulldogs. With three league matches left, the Lady Hornets were hoping to get a breakthrough win on the road Tuesday against a Texarkana team that had defeated them earlier in the season. After Texarkana won the first match 25-22 and took the lead in the second, Bryant rallied to win game two, 26-24, but just couldn’t maintain the momentum as Texarkana wound up winning the match 3-1 (25-22, 24-26, 25-16, 25-19).

Bryant won the junior varsity match 25-21, 25-21.

Meanwhile, Springdale was losing to Fayetteville in three sets, which left the Lady Bulldogs two points ahead of the Lady Hornets in the rankings for the fourth seed from the West with two matches to go. Bryant wraps up its home season on Thursday against Lake Hamilton, the second-place team in the South, then makes the long trip to El Dorado on Tuesday, Oct. 22, to finish out the league slate. They are set to travel to Nettleton for a State tournament tune-up on Thursday, Oct. 24.

“We’re looking for another night like we had the first time we played Sheridan, where all of the girls were ‘on’,” stated Lady Hornets coach Beth Solomon. “We will regroup and hopefully get it together for Thursday night against Lake Hamilton. We need a win for our last home game of the season.”

There will be no Senior Night for the Lady Hornets because there are no seniors on the team.

The difference between the fifth seed, which Bryant currently holds in the West, and the fourth seed will probably be a first-round game at State against Conway or Cabot. Conway, currently fourth in the Central, has been a longtime nemesis for the Lady Hornets while Cabot is hosting the tournament.

The young Lady Hornets, still hampered by injuries to a handful of starters, got sophomore outside hitter Sierra Jones back for a brief appearance Tuesday.

“We had a great win during JV to get the night started,” commented Solomon. “Our varsity just couldn’t pull it out. We had a great come-from-behind win for the second set of the match but just couldn’t get it going to pull out a big ‘W’ for the match.

“We had a few girls off,” she mentioned. “Our serve receive looked really great tonight though, which was the main thing we focused on after the Conway tournament on Saturday.”

The hard-hitting Texarkana front line had the Lady Hornets’ backline busy all night and they recorded a whopping 76 digs including 29 by Whitney Brown. Kaci Squires added 13, Britney Sahlmann 12 and Abby Staton nine.

Bryant was good on 89 percent of its serves. Squires knocked down five aces and Savannah Shelton four to provide the highlights. Sahlmann and Brown contributed one apiece.

At the net, sophomore Allie Anderson paced the effort with 12 kills and a block. Mercedes Dillar had eight kills, Mariah Aguilar six, Rylee Phillips five and Sahlmann four. Sahlmann compiled 27 assists at setter.

In the JV match, Squires had four aces, Aguilar three, Shelton and Dillard two each. Anderson had four kills, Jones three with Dillard, Phillips and Shelton adding two apiece. Shelton had 10 assists and Squires pitched in with six digs. Dillard and Dejai Kelley each had a block.

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