Saturday, September 27, 2014

SPORTS STORY >> Beebe girls get two big victories in conference

Leader sports editor

The Beebe volleyball team completed its first round robin in the 5A-Central Conference with matches against two of the other top teams in the league, and won them both. On Tuesday, the Lady Badgers traveled to Sherwood where they escaped Sylvan Hills with a 3-1 win. Scores were 25-15, 22-25, 25-17 and 26-24.

On Thursday, Beebe was back home taking on North Pulaski, and needed less than an hour to beat North Pulaski 3-0 with scores of 25-7, 25-10 and 25-20.

On Tuesday, Beebe coach Ashley Camp thought her team’s service game saved the day in a match when other factors weren’t as sharp as they should have been.

“Our defense and our serve receive was not on point like it usually is,” said Camp. “Thankfully our spot shots and aggressive serves helped things go in our favor.”

When Beebe’s Sarah Clark took serve in game four, Beebe trailed 21-14, but the junior setter ripped off eight-straight points on serve, something she’s making a habit.

“She has a good serve,” said a disappointed Harold Treadway – coach of the Lady Bears. “I just don’t think she was doing anything we’d never seen before. I don’t want to take anything away from Beebe, but I feel like we just gave that one away.”

Thursday’s match was a surprise, even to Camp.

“I know one of their outside hitters was out with an injury and I think that hurt them,” Camp said. “Compared to when we played them in Vilonia you could tell there was a difference, but they still came back and put up a fight at the end of it. I was just real pleased with how we stayed focused and kept the pressure on them.”

Clark took serve to start the match and Beebe led 8-0 with three aces very quickly. North Pulaski called timeout and got a service break and scored one point to make it 8-2. Destiny Nunez then took serve for Beebe, and while serving no aces, the Lady Badgers scored six more in a row for a 14-2 lead.

The two teams traded breaks for a while before senior Tara Plante served four-straight points, including an ace, and the Lady Badgers closed out game one in about 13 minutes.

Game two was tied at three when Nunez took serve for 12-straight points and a 15-3 lead. She only served one ace during the run, but North Pulaski was rarely able to set up its hitters. Beebe took advantage of the frequent free balls. Clark and Shalen Devore took easy passes and set up hitters Jerra Malone and Gracie Rymel – who each finished with seven kills.

When the Lady Falcons finally broke Nunez, the Lady Badgers broke right back. That brought sophomore Abby Smith to the service line for Beebe, who reeled off four-straight aces for a 21-4 lead. North Pulaski then went on a small run, but the hole was far too deep.

Game three was much more competitive with the Lady Falcons jumping out to a 3-0 lead on Payton Mullen’s serve. But another five-point run on Smith’s serve gave Beebe the advantage it needed late in the game.

Beebe is now 7-3 overall, and 6-1 in conference play. That puts them in second place behind 7-0 Pulaski Academy. Beebe had a 2-0 lead and match point against the Lady Bruins in the first meeting before losing 3-2. The rematch in Little Rock is circled on the Lady Badgers’ calendar.

“We’re preparing for that game every day,” Camp said. “I’m sure they’re working hard, too, but we know that’s a big one.”

Next up for Beebe is a home match against McClellan on Tuesday, and a road match at Jacksonville on Thursday.