The No. 1 seed Benton Lady Panthers had little resistance from the No. 8 seed Searcy Lady Lions in the first round of the 6A state tournament coming away with a 3-0 sweep in Greenwood. The Lady Panthers won 25-10, 25-7 and 25-10 to dominate and will face Russellville tonight at 6 p.m. after the Lady Cyclones took down Benton’s 6A South rival Sheridan Lady Jackets yesterday.
"Bless their hearts, they're not very good, but it was a good game to get our jitters out," Benton Coach Brandy Chumley said. "But we'll have to play better than we did yesterday. We've got Russellville. They're a lot better team. Everything is going to have to be better – our passing and communication. Russellville is going to block a lot better."
Searcy rarely sent players to block which resulted in easy points for the Lady Panthers (17-7).
Senior Sarah Carter started the first set with five consecutive aces and also finished with nine assists, with five of those assists resulting in kills from junior Allison Reynolds. Junior Xandra Lock had four kills and sophomore Braxton Chumley had four assists.
Senior Erin Jackson had two kills in Game 2, senior Kelsey Jenkins had two aces and senior Courtland Kaufholtz had two digs. Reynolds, who had 11 kills for the match, had five kills in the third set, Chumley had five assists with senior Alicia Sandage adding three, and Reynolds had three aces.
After an 11 a.m. practice this morning, the Lady Panthers will take on Russellville at 6 p.m.
"They play really, really good defense, and they hit the ball well," Coach Chumley said of Russellville. "We're going to have to step up our game today."