Defense wins match for Lady Bobcats

Friday, September 22, 2017
Berryville's Hannah Morrell and Lexy Anderson get ready to block the ball in last Thursday's match against Huntsville.
Charles Chappell /

BERRYVILLE Berryville's 25-19, 18-25, 25-21, 25-12 home victory against Huntsville was all but routine Thursday evening. Berryville's Chaney Seitz got an ace to give the Lady Bobcats a 20-14 lead in the third set, but the Lady Eagles responded and cut the lead to 22-21. It looked as if Huntsville was going to tie the match at 22, but Aspen Smith got to the ball right before it hit the floor for an ace. Berryville volleyed the ball back over the net and Huntsville hit the ball out of play

"We had been letting a lot of balls drop," Berryville coach Kristin Whetham said. "I told them that if we let the ball drop that we better be on the ground going after it."

Huntsville hit the ball into the net to give Berryville a 24-21 lead and Kelcee Hopper's dig clinched the 25-21 set victory.

"We buckled down between the second and third sets and decided that defense would win us the game," Whetham said. "The defense really played well and that's what won it for us."

The Lady Bobcats got out to a fast start in the fourth set, leading 6-1 on a Seitz block. Three consecutive aces by Seitz gave Berryville a 12-6 lead and kills by Taylor Swofford extended that lead to 18-9. Back-to-back blocks by Hannah Morrell gave Berryville a 24-12 lead and Aspen Smith's ace ended the match.

"The serving stood out the most in that fourth set," Whetham said. "I thought we really played well."

Huntsville led the Lady Bobcats 10-7 early in the first set, but Hopper's block tied the set at 11 and a Swofford ace gave Berryville a 14-13 lead. Aspen Smith's dig extended the lead to 20-17 and consecutive kills by Morrell gave Berryville a 24-19 lead. Huntsville hit it into the net to give the Lady Bobcats the first-set victory.

"We are still trying to figure some things out here and there, but we are getting better," Whetham said.

Kills by Lexy Anderson and a Marlea Stone ace kept Berryville in the second set early, but Huntsville had a 22-14 lead at one time, before going on to win 25-18.

"We had a few net calls there in the second set," Whetham said. "They were kind of back-to-back. But if you can serve the ball it can change the momentum."

Whetham is proud of the way Morrell and Hopper slowed the ball down along the front row. Whetham added that Kamryn Smith and Anderson played well in the victory.

On Thursday, Berryville hosts Eureka Springs. The action starts at 4 p.m.

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