Sweet Victory: Lady Bobcats win 5-set thriller over Harrison

Tuesday, October 9, 2018
Berryville’s Kelcee Hopper tips the ball over the net in a recent matchagainst Gravette. On Tuesday, Hopper’s block accounted for the final point in a five-set victory over Harrison.
Charlie Chappell / www.PhotoShelter.com/CCImages

By Scott Loftis


Berryville volleyball coach Kristin Whetham described Tuesday’s home match against Harrison “probably the most exciting match I’ve seen in a long time.”

It was especially exciting for the Lady Bobcats.

Berryville, which lost at Harrison in three sets just three weeks earlier, won the rematch in a five-set thriller. The Lady Bobcats got the victory by scores of 14-25, 25-19, 25-20, 24-26 and 18-16.

Whetham said Berryville made some adjustments from its first meeting with Harrison, most notably switching from two setters to one. Maybe more importantly, the Lady Bobcats played with energy and a will to win.

“My girls came out ready to play,” Whetham said. “They played hard and pushed and never quit.”

That refusal to surrender was especially evident in the final set, when Harrison scored four consecutive points to take a 14-12 lead — one point away from winning the match.

Berryville rallied with a kill by junior Taylor Swofford and two consecutive kills by senior Hannah Morrell to take a 15-14 lead. Harrison scored two of the next three points to tie the game at 16-all before a Lauren Compton kill off an assist from senior setter Kate Powell put the Lady Bobcats ahead 17-16. Kelcee Hopper clinched the victory for Berryville with a block that set off a celebration for the Lady Bobcats and their fans.

Whetham said it was hard to single out any individual efforts because the entire team played well.

“All of them did,” she said. “We all did our job. We all worked hard. We all hit the ball well.”

Senior libero Kelsey Smith earned praise from Whetham for her play.

“I thought she did an amazing job,” Whetham said. “Without her back there on defense, I don’t know if we would have won the match.”

Berryville (7-5) traveled to Shiloh Christian on Thursday night.

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