Saturday, October 07, 2017

SPORTS STORY >> Lady Bears bounce back

Special to The Leader

The Jacksonville Lady Titan and the Sylvan Hills Lady Bear volleyball teams met for the second time of the season Thursday at Jacksonville High School. Sylvan Hills had won the first meeting at home, and also took the road match 3-1, with set scores 11-25, 25-16, 25-20, and 25-18.

The first set started well for the Lady Bears, but Jacksonville took the momentum on its Senior Night and won relatively easily. Everything changed in the second set as Sylvan Hills took charge. Set three was closer as the Lady Titans led early and were within one point of the lead several times, but could not take the lead late in the set. The final set was considerably close at times before the Lady Bears won out.

Sylvan Hills is now 10-12 overall and 7-5 in conference play, while Jacksonville is 8-14 and 6-6. The Lady Titans had won 3-0 over Fair on Tuesday, while Sylvan Hills fell 3-1 to Maumelle.

“I am really proud of them,” said Sylvan Hills coach Harold Treadway of his team. “We have got a couple of injuries. And then, to come over here on their Senior Night. The first game, I was scared. But then they came back and really fought and dug themselves a hole in the third game, and pulled it out. A good effort by the girls. I’m proud of them. They played well tonight.”

Injured senior Lady Titan, Rebecca Brown, opened the first set with a serve that fell just long. Two kills by Aliya Hatton, and two by Lydia Young gave the Lady Bears a 5-2 lead. Jacksonville then got the ball back with a kill and scored 11 consecutive points, seven of them aces, on the serve of senior Federica Bossi to lead 14-5.

Sylvan Hills scored on a few Lady Titan miscues before the home team regained the ball on a kill by Chandee Wesley, and then took a 20-8 advantage on three straight service aces by Blair Jones. The Lady Bears scored three, but a kill by Brittney Eskridge doubled the score at 22-11, and an ace by Wesley set the final score of the opening set at 25-11.

Sylvan Hills opened set number two with two aces of its own by Riley Parker. Graemme Withrow gave the Lady Bears a 6-3 lead with her ace, and Meredith West added a point with a kill on a Lady Titan overpass.

Three more Jacksonville errors, two aces by Young, and a kill by Scarlett Averet stretched the lead to 13-4. Libero Anna Snyder had a kill from the back row, and Grace Turner one of her several kill tips to the front corner to help up the lead to 18-7.

Jacksonville fought back, and scored nine to the Lady Bears five to get as close as 23-16, before Sylvan Hills got the final two points to win 25-16.

Eskridge had three kills and an ace, and Aaliyah Burks two kills in the Lady Titan run.

Jacksonville led 8-2 early in the third set with Savannah McKinney scoring the eighth point with a kill. The Lady Bears then outscored their opponent 15-3, ten of those points on the serve of Withrow, to lead 17-11 before the Lady Titans again fought back to pull within one three times. Averet scored the final point of the set with a push deep into the corner to close the set at 25-20.

Parker started the fourth and final set with two aces yet again. The score was knotted at 4-4, but the Lady Bears pulled ahead 13-5 during which West had two blocks. The closest Jacksonville would get would be 19-15. Bossi had two late kills for the Lady Titans, but a deep pass by Snyder finished the set at 25-18.

“Set one, phenomenal,” Jacksonville coach Savannah Jacoby commented. “It was great to see them start out so strong. I told them that was the best they had ever started a match before. And they just plummeted after that. It was Senior Night. I thought they would come together. We just lost focus and had way to many communication errors.”

Young and Turner led the Lady Bears in kills with eight each. Eskridge led Jacksonville with seven. Bossi had nine aces and Jones five for the Lady Titans, while Parker had six for Sylvan Hills.

Jacksonville will travel to Maumelle on Tuesday and host Pulaski Academy on Thursday of next week. The Lady Bears will host Hall on Tuesday and visit Little Rock Christian on Thursday.