Lady Tigers begin their season with benefit match

Friday, August 24, 2018
Green Forest's Kassidy Bell hits the ball over the net in a match last year.
Charles Chappell /

The Green Forest Lady Tiger volleyball team had a benefit match to get ready for the regular season Thursday evening against Flippin at Fred Grim Gym. The Flippin Lady Bobcats defeated Green Forest 25-19, 22-25, 24-26, 25-20, 15-13.

"I'm always glad to have that match because it's a great way to unofficially get the season started and see what we have," Green Forest coach Trista Killingsworth said. "Just kind of see where everybody is and how we are going to play as a team."

The Lady Tigers had 14 kills and six aces in the first set. Skylar Howerton had four kills and Stacy Flores had three aces. Lexey Williams and Flores each had nine digs.

"We need to work on turning free balls into kills and transitioning kills as much as possible," Killingsworth said. "Just turning up our offense. That can only happen with hustle on defense."

The Lady Tigers won the second and third sets. Alissa Smith led the way with seven kills and three aces. Williams had 17 kills in the two-set span. Killingsworth was proud of the hustle her team showed throughout the match.

"The girls did a good job of playing every ball," Killingsworth said. "If someone shanked the ball crazy, they did a good job of running it down and turning it into something. I saw a lot of hustle in that aspect and that is always good to see."

Maddie Youngblood had six aces in the fourth set and Lauryn Veach had two kills. In the fifth and deciding set, Howerton and Veach each had two kills, while Smith had two aces.

The Lady Tigers play three matches this week and Killingsworth knows there is plenty of room for improvement.

"I want to see consistency in serves and a lot of people contributing," Killingsworth said. "I think it's a good thing when you have lots of options and a lot of people that can score some points in matches. I want to see a lot of great hits and of course a lot of hustle from our setters to set those up. Most importantly, I want to see us build as a team."

The Lady Tigers played Salem on Monday evening, which was their first regular-season match of the year.

"They are a small Class 2A school," Killingsworth said. "When I was scheduling this year, I wanted to schedule us against some teams we haven't been playing to change it up a little bit. They are a relatively new program. They have a ton of girls, though. I just don't know a ton about them because this is either their second or third year of playing."

For the match, Howerton had 12 kills and Veach had nine. Williams had 35 digs, while Smith and Flores each had 32.

On Tuesday, Green Forest plays at Cotter. The match is scheduled to start at 5 p.m.

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