Benton finishes second in pool, loses in second round of tourney play

The Benton Lady Panthers defeated Malvern in four games (25-18, 19-25, 25-17, 25-18) on Monday for their first win of the regular season.
In the first game, Alex Williams had two kills, Erin Jackson had a kill and Kristen Ryan had a kill. Williams also had an ace and junior Sarah Carrter had an ace. Courtland Kaufholtz had two aces.
In the second game, Williams had two kills, Morgan had four kills, senior Hayley Ferguson had one and sophomore Allison Reynolds had two.
Ferguson had one ace and Williams had two aces.
In the third game, Williams had two kills, Reynolds had one and Ryan had one. Ryan also had an ace, Williams had two and Kaufholtz had two.
In the fourth game, Williams had two kills, Carter had a kill, Ryan had four kills, Ferguson had a kill and Morgan had a kill.
Ryand also had two aces and Alicia Sandage had one.
“We are trying to eliminate mistakes and not make silly mistakes,” coach Brandy Chumley said. “We are focus on eliminating that. I thought we did a better job tonight.
“They are still working hard and each game we are getting better.”
After finishing second in the pool play at the Spikefest tournament in Little Rock, the Benton Lady Panthers were knocked out in the second round of the tournament by Nettleton (13-25, 21-25).
“We made too many mistakes,” Chumley said. “They are a good team and they played really good defense.”
In the first round, Benton defeated Central 25-23, 25-14. In the pool play, Benton defeated Mills (25-6, 25-18) and Central Arkansas Christian (24-13, 25-9) but lost to Russellville (14-25, 21-25).
“I thought each we are getting better,” Chumley said. “But we are still not where we need to be, but we are working on it.
“We are doing better at the net but we still got to work on our passing.”
The Lady Panthers will host the Bryant Lady Hornets tonight at the Benton Arena and then will open up conference play at El Dorado on Thursday.
In other action, the freshman Lady Panther volleyball team hosted the second annual Lady Panther Classic at Benton Arena on Saturday.
After pool play between Hot Springs Lakeside, Russellville West and North Little Rock and Benton, the Lady Panthers were seeded first with a record of 5-1, with the lone loss to North Little Rock.
The pool play was highlighted by an intense match against Russellville West that the Lady Panthers won 26-24, 28-26.
Benton had seven aces in the match with Ashlie Dintleman and Braxton Chumley recording two a piece. Dintleman had nine kills. Braylee Landreth contributed four kills.
Coach Michelle Shoppach said the key to the match was the defense of the teams.
“The front row put up a big block and funneled the ball to the defense of Bailey Korte, Kendall Meadors and Kiyonda Fisher,” Shoppach said. “Nothing was hitting the floor...they were like a vacuum cleaner getting everything up.”
As a team, Benton had 43 digs. Russellville was the number two seed, NLR the three seed and Lakeside finished as the fourth seed.
The Lady Panthers disposed of Lakeside in two straight sets.
In the highly anticipated rematch of West and Benton in the championship, the Lady Panthers put together another outstanding defensive showing and added a strong attack from the service line to defeat Russellville 25-20 and 25-9.
For the second year in a row, the Lady Panthers won the tournament championship. Ashlie Dintleman led Benton with seven kills on 19 swings, and Braylee Landreth had three kills on 12 swings. Bailey Korte led the team with three aces.
The Lady Panthers are 5-0-1 on the year.