Saturday, September 26, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> BHS ladies steamroll through 5A-Central

Leader sports editor

Thursday’s volleyball matchup in Jacksonville between Beebe and North Pulaski appeared to have a lot riding on it. In the last match of the first round robin of conference play, an NP win would’ve caused a three-way tie atop the league between Beebe, North Pulaski and Pulaski Academy.

It never came close to that. The Lady Badgers swept their hosts in dramatic fashion. After a bit of a slow start, Beebe won by scores of 25-18, 25-7 and 25-10, completing its first trip through conference foes without dropping a single set.

“We didn’t really come out focused,” said Beebe coach Ashley Camp. “I think the heat had some thing to do with that. We’ve gotten a little spoiled with the air conditioning in our gym. But North Pulaski played really well at the beginning, too.”

Game one was tied at 12-12 when Beebe broke serve to take a one-point lead. Lady Badger Kayla Green then served back-to-back aces and Abby Smith slammed down one of her match-high 11 kills as Beebe stretched its lead to 18-12 before NP broke. That quick run proved to be the difference in the opening game, and the Lady Falcons never recovered the rest of the night.

Beebe dominated game two. Smith served up eight-straight points, including three aces, early in the second set to give the Lady Badgers a 17-6 lead. Jerra Malone and Gracie Rymel dominated on the outside.

North Pulaski broke with a huge kill by Kiarra Evans, but the Lady Falcon middle blocker couldn’t stay on the floor. Evans stayed in to serve, but would go to the bench for her other two back row rotations, and Beebe’s bevy of big hitters took advantage of NP’s smaller front line.

The break at 17-6 was NP’s last point of the game, as Beebe rolled off another eight in a row to close out game two.

The streak continued to start game three. Senior setter Sarah Clark scored eight-straight points on serve to start the third set, including three aces. She finally hit a serve into the net to give NP a point. North Pulaski played evenly for the next several points, and trailed 14-8 when the Lady Badgers went on an 11-2 run to finish the match.

The final streak started with six points on serve by Green that made it 20-8. NP broke serve and Payton Mullen served an ace for NP’s final two points of the match. Clark served out the match for Beebe, ending on an unforced error by the Lady Falcons.

Rymel finished with seven kills for the Lady Badgers and Malone had five. Almost all were assisted by Clark.

Earlier in the week, Beebe defeated Sylvan Hills 25-11, 25-10 and 25-12. Green had 21 digs and Lesley Keene served five aces in that win.

Not counting tournament games, the Lady Badgers are 10-0, losing only to 7A North Little Rock and Bryant in two-set tournament matches.


Elsewhere in league play, Jacksonville got its second conference win on Thursday, beating McClellan 25-16, 25-8 and 25-12 at the Devils’ Den. Jacksonville actually trailed 12-9 in game three when Kym House took serve and reeled off 16-straight points to serve out the game and match for the Lady Red Devils.

Brittney Eskridge had six kills for Jacksonville while House and Terionna Stewart clogged up the middle for the Lady Devils well.

After seven of the 14 conference matches, Beebe leads the way at 7-0. Pulaski Academy is 6-1, North Pulaski 5-2, Sylvan Hills 4-3, Mills 3-4, Jacksonville 2-5, McClellan 1-6 and J.A. Fair 0-7.