Loss at Van Buren puts Lady Hornets in nearly a must-win situation at NLR

VAN BUREN — As fine a season as the Bryant Lady Hornets have had, particularly in light of past struggles, there is little room for error in their quest to reach the Class 7A State volleyball tournament. After losing in four games at Van Buren, 18-25, 22-25, 25-23, 11-25 on Thursday, Oct. 15, the Lady Hornets must win at North Little Rock in their final conference game on Tuesday, Oct. 20, or hope that Van Buren follows up its victory with another one against Cabot that evening.

“Going into Thursday night, we were tied for third in conference,” noted Lady Hornets coach Beth Solomon. “After the loss, we’re doing to being tied for fifth. The North Little Rock match is crucial for us. The girls have got to come out and play and be ready to step back up.[more]

“The top six go to the State Tournament next week at Van Buren,” she continued. “We deserve to be there. Hopefully the girls will play the way they can so that we’ll make it.”

The Lady Hornets are tied with Mount St. Mary’s for fifth but the Belles have the tiebreaker. Cabot is a game behind and also has a tiebreaker over the Lady Hornets.

Van Buren pulled into a tie for third with its victory over the Lady Hornets. The Pointerettes could move up into a tie for second with a win over Cabot and a Bryant victory at North Little Rock, so they’ll have no shortage of motivation.

But neither should the Lady Hornets, of course. It’s just that Bryant has struggled on the road this season.

“The girls are still having trouble overcoming their up-and-down moments,” Soloman said. “We made a lot of mental mistakes that we shouldn’t have made. We really needed the win Thursday but it did noot go as well as I’d hoped it would.”

Kayla Davidson had eight kills for the Lady Hornets. Brianna White contributed four blocks. Jordan Armstrong produced 27 assists with Heather Light coming through with 15 digs. Light and Jenifer Hubbard each served up a pair of aces.

“Once again, Taylor Shutt had a great game,” Solomon related. “I’m hoping that she’s starting to step into the leadership role. She’s been really playing well the last couple of matches. We’ll definitely need her leadership going into our last conference game and then the State tournament next week.”

In a junior varsity contest, Bryant lost in three tight games, 25-20, 20-25, 14-16.

Ashley Chaloner led the team with five kills. Maggie Hart had three blocks and Hubbard had seven assists. Light contributed 17 digs and Jenna Bruick served up a trio of aces.

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