Lady Hornets defeat Cobras
BRYANT – They weren't sharp, but the Bryant Lady Hornets remained undefeated in their second match of the season. The Lady Hornets beat the Fountain Lake Lady Cobras 3-1 (25-23, 25-19, 17-25, 26-24) on Thursday night at the Bryant gym.
"A win's a win," Bryant Coach Beth Solomon said. "We didn't play as good as we could have. Overall, we had some key players that were not on last night.
"It's been a long week as far as getting back in their routine. We're 2-0 and that's the big thing we want to concentrate on right now. We're undefeated, but our caliber of play wasn't what it should have been.
Solomon referred to the long week as school started and the Lady Hornets played a tough match in Russellville against Van Buren on Tuesday. Bryant also will compete in Spikefest today with its first match coming against volleyball powerhouse Conway at 9 a.m. at Episcopal High School in Little Rock. The Lady Hornets, now in the 7A/6A South after previously being in the 7A Central with Conway last season, will get Conway again this Tuesday.
In the Fountain Lake game, Bryant struggled with missed serves and bad passing, which isn't characteristic of the Lady Hornets.
"One of the big things we pride ourselves on are how good our serves are and I think last night we missed at least 10 serves," Solomon said.
"Fountain Lake is a real scrappy team, they're a good team. Almost every year they're in the (3A) state finals so we knew, but I also feel like we didn't play as good as we could have because we're looking forward to our Conway games."
In Bryant's only loss on Thursday, the Lady Hornets had over half of their missed serves in the third game.
"That's the game we missed nine serves (missed 16 for the match) in that game alone," Solomon said. "We won those first two and I think we got a little over-confident. They weren't playing to win. They were playing to not lose. They all agreed after the game last night that it wasn't their best performance by any means."
Though parts of Bryant's play suffered, there were some bright spots.
"Brooke [Howell] and Kenzie (McKenzie Rice), both, pulled a lot up for us," Solomon said. "I thought Britten Hays had a great night. She really stepped up. She didn't play varsity last year, and she really stepped up last night as far as her back row and defense.
"Courtney Davidson had a good night as far as being a leader. Her and Britten both, out of all of them, their serves were on. They were ready to play last night."
A senior, Howell led the Lady Hornets with 15 kills with Rice, also a senior, adding 11. Senior Alyssa Anderson had eight kills and the senior Davidson had seven. McKenzie's twin sister, Hannah, led the team with 33 assists. Senior Rochelle Aguilar and Hannah Rice had 12 digs to lead the team and McKenzie added 11. Anderson had four aces to lead the team.
"We're going to use Saturday to get stuff fixed and play Conway Tuesday," Solomon said. "We have a lot riding on Conway as far as the point spread goes."
"Conway is a good team, but the girls are ready this year. They're excited, they're ready to play them. I think they were looking to that game and thought they had last night in the bag. We didn't give Fountain Lake enough credit and we should have."