Lady Tigers start off 2-0
The Green Forest volleyball team got its season started on the right track this week by getting consecutive straight-set victories. On Monday, the Lady Tigers got a home win over Salem and they won at Cotter on Tuesday. Individual match results are as follows:
Green Forest vs. Salem: The Lady Tigers took control of the match early and cruised to a 25-14, 25-14, 25-17 victory.
"I was very happy to see them play hard," Green Forest coach Trista Killingsworth said. 'We got a lot of good hits, which was what we wanted to see."
The Lady Tigers jumped out to a 16-4 lead in the first set. Kendall DeMeyer and Lexey Williams had two aces during that span. Skyler Howerton and Kassidy Bell each had four kills in that set alone.
"One of the things I wanted to see was consistency and I think we saw that," Killingsworth said. "Hustle was also a big thing I was looking for. There are always a few balls on a serve-receive that we watch for some reason, but they chased every ball down. We have to see that every day. I call that being scrappy. That's a goal of my team every year."
Green Forest's Lauryn Veach added six kills in the second set and Howerton had five. Maddie Youngblood had three aces in the set. The Lady Tigers went on to get the third-set victory, but at one point Green Forest trailed 8-13. The Lady Tigers closed the set on a 9-1 run. Bell had three kills during that time.
"That was the most frustrating part of the whole match," Killingsworth said. "I told the girls all we had to do was get to 25 one more time and the match is over. I stressed to them no matter how much effort it takes, it's worth it not to play one more set. And you want to win 3-0. That means you dominated. It's frustrating to have to work through that, but it was good to see the girls refocus and get it done."
For the match, Bell finished with 13 kills and Howerton had 11. Stacy Flores had 15 digs, while Williams had 13 and Kiara Taylor and Alissa Smith each had nine.
Green Forest vs. Cotter:
The Lady Tigers didn't seem fazed by their first road match of the year, as they got a convincing 25-19, 25-17, 25-20 victory.
"I was a little nervous because we hosted the benefit game and the game from Monday," Killingsworth said. "We hadn't been on the road yet, so that was a good test and they passed the test."
Flores had five kills in the first set and Bell had four. Howerton added four aces. Killingsworth knows there is plenty of room for improvement, though.
"If we lose the serve, and get a first ball kill out of serve-receive and then have strong serving when we get the ball back, then things are going to be OK," Killingsworth said. "That's what we worked on in practice this morning. Not a lot of volleys if we can avoid it."
The Lady Tigers combined for 21 kills and 18 aces in the second and third sets. Howerton and Flores finished the match with nine kills apiece, while Bell had seven.
On Thursday, Green Forest hosted Marshall, a team the Lady Tigers are familiar with.
"They are in our conference now," Killingsworth said. "It will be our first conference match. They have a new coach, but she is very familiar with volleyball. They usually have a couple tall girls, but they graduated some girls last year, so their roster will be a little different. They will be together and have some girls who can block."