Tuesday, October 18, 2016

SPORTS STORY >> Sylvan Hills and Beebe make state

Special to The Leader

Beebe and Sylvan Hills each won their first-round matches in the 5A-Central District volleyball tournament Saturday at Little Rock Christian Academy, and in doing so, punched their tickets to the Class 5A state tournament that begins next Tuesday at Valley View High School in Jonesboro.

The third-seeded Lady Badgers beat six-seed Mills in straight sets by scores of 25-9, 25-11 and 25-8. Four-seed Sylvan Hills defeated five-seed Parkview 25-16 twice, and 25-10.

“Our goal was to win,” said Sylvan Hills head coach Harold Treadway. “This was the important one, to guarantee us a spot in the state. I thought our first game was probably one of the better games that we’ve played. I thought our passes were really good, our sets. My front row, they can hit the ball hard, but they are also very intelligent and sometimes, it doesn’t have to be hit a hundred miles an hour, just put the ball where they’re not. And I thought we made some really good plays, and I told them that. I thought the second game, we had a little let up and sometimes it’s hard to stay focused, especially on a Saturday against a team we’ve beaten twice. But, they played well enough todo what they were supposed to do. So, yes, I was extremely pleased with it.”

Tori Langley got the first point for the Lady Bears in set one with a kill. The lead reached 4-0 on the serve of Lydia Young and a kill tip by Kaelei Atkins. Parkview picked up three points, but kills by Langley, Neiagha Thomas, Aliya Hatton and Anna Snyder helped Sylvan Hills build a 13-6 advantage. Thomas served an ace to make it 14-6.

The Lady Patriots picked up some points along the way, but the Lady Bears were scoring about two to their one. Hatton got Sylvan Hills to a 20-9 lead with a kill. The Lady Bears reached set point and a 24-15 lead on a kill by Young. Each team scored one more point for a first set score of 25-16.

The score of the second set was identical to set one. The teams were tied at four, with two of Parkview’s points on kills by Morgan Peters. However, Sylvan Hills went on a scoring streak on the serve of Atkins, which included an ace, for a 10-4 advantage.

The Lady Patriots pulled within four at 8-12, but another run with Hatton serving, which included two kills by Thomas, gave the Lady Bears a lead of 18-8. Another kill by Thomas and one by Young made the lead 20-12. Parkview had a little run of its own with Peters serving and pulled to within 16-20 before Sylvan Hills got the ball back, and Snyder finished off the set on her service.

Parkview led 5-4 in set three and were as close as 8-11 before Thomas made it 12-8 with a kill and then scored six on her serve, including two aces, to give the Lady Bears a lead of 18-8. The Lady Patriots only scored two more points before Langley scored four on her service, finishing the set and the match with an ace.

In Beebe’s match on Saturday, the Lady Badgers were tied at 5-5 with Mills early in game one when Autumn O’Rourke took serve. Beebe scored 15-consecutive points to take a 20-5 lead before the Comets forced a sideout.

O’Rourke served six-straight in game two to push Beebe’s lead from 9-4 to 15-4. Lexi Devore served the last five in a row to end game two.

Brianna Duncan served the big rally in game three with seven-straight points that put the Lady Badgers up 20-7.

Sylvan Hills faced Pulaski Academy and Beebe took on Little Rock Christian Academy in Tuesday’s semifinals after Leader deadlines. Look for details of those matches in Saturday’s edition of the Leader.