Lady Hornets conclude season with a victory
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Perhaps still hurting from their home loss to the Mount St. Mary’s Belles in four tight games, the Bryant Lady Hornets volleyball team dropped their match at Little Rock Parkview, 11-25, 17-25, 19-25 on Tuesday, Oct. 19. But, on Thursday, they rebounded to close out the season with a hard-fought win at home over Little Rock Central, 25-22, 23-25, 25-21, 25-15.
The Lady Hornets finish the season 3-14 overall, 3-11 in AAAAA-Central Conference play but return all but three players. Seniors Brittney Waddle, Amanda White and Whitney Wingard were honored at the final game.
Going into the game with Mount St. Mary’s, the Lady Hornets’ still had a chance to earn a bid to the Class AAAAA State Tournament with wins in their final three games, but the 16-25, 25-21, 21-25, 23-25 setback knocked them out of contention.
And that showed on the Lady Hornets at Parkview.
“We were really kind of up and down in that one,” head coach Doug Maxwell said. “The loss to the Mount really did drain us. That was one we thought we had a chance at winning there. Then, at Parkview, they kept having delays for one thing or another and we weren’t able to get into any kind of rhythm. It seemed like every time we were about to get a rhythm, something would happen and the game would stop for five or 10 minutes or so. That really affected us.
“The girls played hard but we weren’t really at the top of our game,” he added.
Wingard had six kills to lead the team. Courtney Shuffield was good on 9 of 11 serves with three aces. Defensively, White had 10 digs.
On Thursday, Wingard finished her career with 13 kills. White and Shuffield added five kills apiece.
As a team, the Lady Hornets were good on 90 percent of their serves. Ashtyn Foster was 14 of 14 with five aces. Shuffield was 14 of 16 with five aces and Waddle pitched in with four aces.
“Our defense was really on against them,” Maxwell mentioned. “Amanda White had 14 digs, Morgan Hart had 13, Ashtyn Foster had 12 and Brittney Waddle had 10. That was a good solid effort.
“We finished fifth in the conference,” he said. “But our JV squad finished 8-3 against conference teams. That’s a high point for us. A lot of the younger players are getting experience and doing well. We’ll return one of our middle hitters, we’ll have our setter for another two years and a couple of outside hitters returning (from the varsity). We had some of the sophomores and juniors stepping up there at the end. We had the opportunity to get some of them in there at the end and let them finish the match out for us.”