Every season is a process. A step or two forward, a step or two back. It’s particularly so when your team is an inexperienced one. Sometimes, even in a loss, a coach can see signs that good things are on the horizon.
Such was the case for head coach Beth Solomon and her Bryant Lady Hornets volleyball team on Thursday night at the Hornets Nest. Though they suffered a 25-27, 9-25, 25-22, 10-25 loss to their nemesis, the Conway Lady Cats, Solomon was encouraged, particularly in light of a disappointing straight set loss at North Little Rock earlier in the week.
“We looked really great tonight,” she said. “I’m incredibly proud of how the girls played. Not only did we come out fighting and continued fighting for every point but the girls even came back and won game 3 after losing games 1 and 2.
“We couldn’t quite pull out game 4 but this gives us a really, really good hope going into the second round of conference play,” the coach added.
That starts next Tuesday, Sept. 27, with a trip to Fort Smith to take on Northside.
“It’s a long bus trip but I’m confident that, if the girls play the way that they did tonight, good things will happen Tuesday night,” Solomon stated. “Watching us play tonight gave us all a refreshing excitement for the rest of the season. Something finally clicked tonight and I can’t wait to see what these girls can pull off and accomplish after watching them play tonight.”
Every year, Conway has been a tough team for Bryant to contend with, even the best Lady Hornets’ teams of the past.
This time, the team produced 30 kills and they were good on 62 of 69 serves. Ashlyn Lee had 22 assists and was good on all 15 of her serves. Raven Loveless led the team with eight kills and Lylah Washington had seven, plus the team’s only service ace and a team-high four digs.
Brittney Warner contributed seven kills as well. She also had two solo blocks. Lee added four kills and three digs. Riley Hill contributed three kills and was good on all nine of her serves. Alex Dillard pitched in with a kill, a solo block and a dig.
In a junior varsity match, the Lady Hornets absorbed a 14-25, 8-25 setback. Aly Bowers, Imanii Jones and Faith Stone each had a kill with Lindsey Maxwell assisting on all three. Jones had the team’s only ace in service. She was good on all four of her serves.
Shannon Stewart led the defense with three digs. Bowers had two. Beatriz Hernandez, Macey Loudon, Kristin Boyle, Emily Hall and Madi Draper added one apiece.