LITTLE ROCK — With head coach Beth Solomon urging her team “to remember to treat every game like[more] it’s a 7A State tournament game,” the Bryant Lady Hornets overcame a brief lull in the second game of their match at J.A. Fair on Tuesday.
The Lady Hornets responded with a 25-10, 25-13, 25-8 win over the Lady War Eagles to improve to 2-0 in the 7A/6A-South Conference. The Bryant junior varsity won as well, 25-9, 25-5.
Alyssa Anderson sparked the varsity effort with seven kills, a solo block and an assist along with 10 aces in her 17-of-17 performance at the service line.
Hannah Rice contributed 16 assists, three kills, eight digs and four aces. McKenzie Rice and Brooke Howell each finished with five kills. Courtney Davidson added four.
“The girls played well but we didn’t play anywhere near our caliber of play,” Solomon related. “The girls won the first game then started to ‘play down’ in game two. The score was tied 8-8 and I called a timeout. I told the girls that we needed to pick it up and pretend that this was a 7A State tournament game. We had to force ourselves to play better. After that pep talk, the girls picked it up and finished.
“It was hard for the girls to get going,” she noted. “They just have to stay up. I thought Hannah had a great game tonight and our libero, Rochelle Aguilar, also had a great game.”
Aguilar was 5 of 5 on her passes and 7 of 7 on serve-receive with four digs.
Solomon praised the JV team, saying, ”They played very well tonight. They had a really good serving game. The game seemed to center around our serving. We had quite a few aces.”
In fact, there were 17 in a two-game set. Erica Smith had six aces and was good on all 10 of her serves. Aubree Allen pitched in with four aces, Mercedes Dillard three and Madison Greeno and Rylee Phillips two each.
Allen led the team with three kills. Dillard added four assists. Smith contributed a solo block.
“Erica really stood out and has definitely improved on her serving,” Solomon said. “Mercedes also had a great night and is becoming more and more comfortable with her role as our junior varsity setter.”
The Lady Hornets figure to face a sterner test this Thursday when they host Texarkana, one of the traditional powers of the South Conference. Texarkana swept Sheridan in a league match on Tuesday.