Lady Tigers keep pace with Alpena in 1-3A Conference

Thursday, September 12, 2013
Green Forest's Keylen Bell dives after a ball against Valley Springs Thursday evening at Fred Grim Gym. (Trevor Tegley / www.tegleyphotography.com)

GREEN FOREST -- Green Forest retained its position atop 1-3A Conference with a straight-set, 26-24, 25-20, 25-23 win over Valley Springs Thursday night at Fred Grim Gym.

Both teams entered the outing tied in league standings at 5-0 with Alpena. Green Forest hung on for a 26-24 win in the opening game and disposed of the Lady Tigers 25-20 in the second and 25-23 in the third.

"I was thinking we could go four sets with them and I didn't want to do that," Green Forest coach Trista Killingsworth said. "I was very glad we finished it in three."

One of the key components to Green Forest's victory was the play of junior middle hitter Madison Owens. Owens was solid at the net, playing in just her second varsity match.

"She has been playing well," Killingsworth said. "She didn't start out the season playing like that. But she had been playing well in junior varsity. So we are getting her in and she's doing a good job."

Killingsworth said Owens needed more playing time to be more comfortable with her game.

"She always has been a strong server," she said. "She is just now growing into her body. I want to use as many players as I can. And I like what she is doing right now."

Killingsworth said a less-than-stellar performance at last weekend's SlamFest in Harrison left a bitter taste in the Lady Tigers' mouths.

"We had a rough weekend in Harrison," she said. "But I feel like it was necessary. We are learning that we have to play up. Nothing is going to be given to us."

Emily Glassell led the Lady Tigers at the net on Thursday, recording five kills. Payton Watson and Anna Blach finished with three each.

The Lady Tigers earned a straight-set win over Yellville-Summit on Tuesday, beating the Lady Panthers 25-9, 25-17, 25-5. Watson had five kills to lead Green Forest at the net while Owens added two and Glassel chipped in with one. The Lady Tigers had six device aces, led by Kenley Williams with three. Watson led the team with 20 digs.

"We played awesome Tuesday against Yellville," Killingsworth said. "And I was proud of the way we played tonight and ended it in three. It was a chance to move up and we did."

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