The Benton Junior Panthers swept the Bryant Junior Hornets with the ninth graders coming out on top 2-0 (25-18, 25-18) and the eighth graders taking the match 2-0 as well at 25-9 and 25-11. The eighth graders also beat Bethel 25-23 in their second match after being down 8-0 and then beat the Lady Hornets 25-15 in the second set at Bryant Middle School on Thursday.
“Our ninth graders were very steady,” Benton Coach Michelle Shoppach said. “Essence Thomas did an outstanding job at left side defense with six digs, as Jordan "Herbie" Herbner did as the libero getting 15 digs. Megan Herndon led the team from the service line with three aces in the second set.”
“Lenzie Newman and Brianna Landreth took apart Bethel (eighth grade) from the service line as they had four aces apiece.”
The Lady Panthers are 2-0 in conference and will face Conway Blue at Benton tonight in conference play.
Last Monday, the ninth graders took on Cabot South at Benton Arena and won to pick up their first conference win of the season.
“The first set went according to script with us winning 25-17 with the Lady Panthers monitoring and adjusting to what Cabot South gave them,” Shoppach said. “The team led the entire set.
“The second set was more eventful as the Lady Panthers jumped out to lead 13-7 and then 19-13, but they could not put the Cabot Panthers away. Cabot took the lead 22-23, but with a little bit of grit, the Panthers finished them off 25-23, with Mallory Morris serving to get the win.”
Millie Pricket had 13 digs and Herbner led the team with 15. Kylee McClendon had three aces, Krystal Walters had seven kills and Morris had six. Makayla Nash had four kills and two blocks.
“The team had a good night,” Shoppach said of last Monday. “They kept a lot of balls alive, got the ball to the setters, and were able to get 92 swings to keep the pressure on Cabot.”