Lady Bobcats get easy win on senior night

Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Berryville's Aspen Smith volleys the ball up to one of her teammates as Taylor Swofford looks on.
Charles Chappell /

Senior night could not have gone any better for the Berryville volleyball team, as the Lady Bobcats defeated the Green Forest Lady Tigers in straight sets, 25-18, 25-16, 25-3 on Tuesday.

"In that first set, I played all of my seniors and they played really well," Berryville coach Kristin Whetham said. "Once we went to our normal lineup, I was missing one of my regular starters, Kelcee Hopper, she had rolled her ankle pretty good, so she didn't play. As a result, I put in another sophomore, Jordan Estepp. She stepped up and played pretty well. As a whole, everything went great last night."

Berryville's Jaiden Hutchison got an early ace in the first set to give Berryville a 6-4 lead. Green Forest's Vanessa Perez got a dig, trimming Berryville's lead to 9-8, but a Nora Waller ace combined with a Marlea Stone kill extended the Lady Bobcat lead to 21-16. Hutchison's kill sealed the first-set victory. Whetham was glad to see her seniors take care of business in that first set.

"I'm graduating seven seniors and I'm going to miss every single one of them, but I know they have a bright future ahead of them," Whetham said. "I'm excited to see what they do with the rest of their lives."

Kassidy Bell's block gave Green Forest a 9-7 lead in the second set, but a kill from Chaney Seitz gave Berryville a 14-13 lead and the Lady Bobcats didn't relinquish it. Lexy Anderson's kill extended the lead to 20-16 and an ace by Seitz ended the set.

Berryville got out to an 11-0 lead in the third set and cruised to victory.

After the senior night festivities on Tuesday, the Lady Bobcats still had four road matches and a tournament over the weekend in Hollister, Mo. before the district tournament in Lincoln. Whetham doesn't think not having any home matches between now and the end of the season will be a disadvantage for her team.

"I would rather play on the road because it gives us a chance to play in different gyms," Whetham said. "We obviously aren't going to play district or state here at home, so I think the more road games we play at the end of the season gets us more prepared for the district tournament at Lincoln."

Berryville 3, Gravette 1

It's always nice to beat your county rival on senior night, but Monday night’s home conference match against Gravette meant even more in terms of seeding in the district tournament.

"We didn't really know what to expect with Gravette," Whetham said. "I talked to a few different teams, but they didn't tell me a whole lot because they aren't in our conference. I didn't know exactly what they had."

Berryville won, 26-28, 25-13, 25-15, 25-22. Whetham said her team wasn't prepared early, though.

"We ended up losing that first set because we weren't prepared," Whetham said. "We played them in the summer and they didn't have everybody, because a lot of those girls didn't play on that team during the summer. We killed them. I think we had the mindset when we stepped on the floor that it was going to be an easy win."

Whetham adds that while the Lady Bobcats won the next three sets, they could have played better.

"In that second set, all 13 points they scored, we gave to them," Whetham said. "They didn't get one kill. Against Gravette, we didn't play as well as we could have. We still pulled out a win. That makes me feel good we can still pull out wins when we aren't playing as well as I know we can, but I would like to get off this roller coaster that we are on and start playing like I know we can every single night."

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