CONWAY — The Bryant Lady Hornets defeated the North Little Rock Lady Charging Wildcats, 25-23, 25-22, to win the silver bracket of the Wampus Cat Invitational volleyball tournament on Saturday, after finishing second in their pool.
To get to the final, Bryant ousted Mountain Home, 23-25, 25-19, 15-10, and Central Conference rival Siloam Springs, 25-23, 25-21, in bracket play. In pool play, the Lady Hornets defeated Marion 19-25, 25-21, 15-5 and lost to Morrilton, 25-20, 19-25, 8-15.
“We saw some good competition in this tournament,” said Bryant coach Lawrence Jefferson. “We played well in the bracket play. Whitney Brown and Nikki Clay played really well, owning the court on defense. Allie Anderson and Mercedes Dillard got some big time kills when we really needed them. Britney Sahlmann was spot on with her setting all day. We served well as a team all day.
“This was a big opportunity for Bryant volleyball to show the progress the girls have made since the beginning of season and the hard workouts in July and August,” he asserted. “I am proud of their effort and tenacity over the weekend to make a successful tournament.”
The Lady Hornets return to conference play Tuesday when Alma comes to Bryant. They’ll host Conway on Thursday then finish up league play on Tuesday, Oct. 21, at Siloam Springs. The regular season concludes on Thursday, Oct. 23, with a non-conference home match with Little Rock Central for Senior Night.
In the title match, the Lady Hornets had just two service errors and seven aces while combining on 23 kills.
Sahlmann was good on all 13 of her serves with three aces. She also had 18 assists, three kills and eight digs.
Anderson led with eight kills but also had two service aces. Clay had four kills, an ace and seven digs. Dillard contributed two kills, went 8 for 8 on serves with an ace, three digs and two blocks, one solo.
Brown led the team with 18 digs and was good on all seven of her serves.
The win over Siloam Springs avenged to some extent a 3-1 loss to the Lady Panthers in a regular-season match on Sept. 25.
Anderson finished with nine kills, Sahlmann five, Kendall Selig four, Clay three and Rylee Phillips two. Sahlmann had 18 assists and was good on all 10 her serves. Clay was 10 for 10 at the line with the lone ace of the contest for the Lady Hornets. Abby Staton got in eight of her nine serves.
On defense, Brown had 18 digs, Clay and Sahlmann 14 each, Madison Greeno 11.
Against Mountain Home, Anderson finished with 12 aces, Selig six, Clay and Dillard five each and Sahlmann three.
To go with 25 assists, Sahlmann was good on all nine of her serves with two aces. Anderson and Brown had aces as well. Clay got in all 13 of her serves.
On defense, Clay had 13 digs, Brown 11.
In the pool play win over Marion, Bryant had just four service errors. Sahlmann was 16 of 16 with an ace. Dillard was nine of 10 with two aces. Clay was good on eight and Brown on seven serves.
Anderson produced 10 kills, Selig five and Dillard three with Salhmann picking up 21 assists. Brown came through with 26 digs.
The match with Morrilton included 16 hitting errors and seven service errors by the Lady Hornets. Anderson finished with nine kills. Dillard had four, Clay and Sahlmann three each. Staton and Alex Dillard contributed one apiece.
To go with her 14 assists, Sahlmann got in all seven of her serves and had eight digs. Brown led with 16 digs.
At the line, Anderson had two aces, Mercedes Dillard and Clay each had one.