Leader Blues

Saturday, September 30, 2006

SPORTS >>SH ladies volleyball routs Warriors

IN SHORT: Sylvan Hills knocked off Little Rock Hall in a non-conference match Thursday night at Sylvan Hills High School.

By RAY BENTON
Leader sports editor

The Sylvan Hills Lady Bears improved to 6-7 on the year Thursday with an easy non-conference victory over Little Rock Hall. Thursday’s win followed a tough conference loss to Jonesboro on Tuesday. Tuesday’s result left Sylvan Hills 2-2 in conference play and still in the hunt for a state playoff spot.

Scores against the perennial powerhouse Lady Hurricane were 25-23, 25-20 and 25-20. Lady Bear coach Laura Allred said the team hung tough with a state powerhouse, despite not playing well.

“We played terribly,” Allred said. “If we could have done anything we would have beaten them. This team has the talent to do some things, they just have to be more consistent.”

The evidence of inconsistency is found in the Lady Bears’ win over Mountain Home last week, right after Mountain Home beat Jonesboro.

Sylvan Hills is currently fourth in the league standings. Marion sits atop the 6A-East with a 4-0 record, (17-3 overall). Mountain Home is 3-1 while Jonesboro is a half-game ahead of Sylvan Hills at 3-2.

“We get to play them both again,” Allred said. “We’re still shooting for a conference championship.”

The Lady Bears had no trouble Thursday night against the Lady Warriors. Sylvan Hills won the match by scores of 25-16, 25-10 and 25-17.

The match started with the two teams trading service breaks for the first several points. The Lady Bears finally took a small lead when Megan Gwatney served four straight points on serve, including two aces to turn an 8-7 lead into 12-7.

The margin stayed about the same until the Lady Bears scored the final four points of game one on Allison William’s serve. Two kills by Emily Nichols and a block for a point by Courtney Lots ended the opening frame.

The Lady Bears fell behind in the early going of game two. Trailing 5-6, Nichols put together a morale-killing service streak that ruined Hall for the rest of the match.

The Lady Bears scored 10 straight points, including five aces by Nichols to take a 15-6 lead.

Nichols had another smaller streak on serve in game three that distanced the home squad from its defeated competitors and sealed the victory.

Nichols finished the match with 17 points on serve and seven kills.

Gwatney finished with eight kills to lead all players in that category, while Lutz compiled six kills and four blocks.

The Lady Bears have a week of critical matches coming up. They will host Marion next Tuesday before traveling to Mountain Home on Thursday.

In other games around the 6A-East conference Thursday: Mountain Home beat Jacksonville 3-0 with scores of 25-19, 25-13 and 25-18, and the Marion Lady Patriots knocked off Jonesboro in four bizarre games. Scores in that match were 25-23, 25-17, 9-25 and 25-11.