‘Barn-Burner:' Lady Bobcats top Harrison in five-set thriller
By Scott Loftis
Nothing seems to come easy for Berryville against Harrison in any sport. And Tuesday’s volleyball matchup in Berryville was a good example.
The Lady Bobcats and the Lady Goblins battled back and forth for five sets before Berryville emerged with a hard-fought victory.
Berryville won 26-24, 25-19, 23-25, 24-26, 15-11.
“It was a barn-burner,” said Lady Bobcats coach Kristin Whetham, whose team won at home against Harrison for the second consecutive season and kept its 2019 record unblemished at 4-0.
Berryville started slowly, Whetham said.
“We kind of came out in the first set a little sluggish, but we ended up pulling it together toward the end,” she said. “The second set, we kind of just took it away.”
Harrison rallied to win the third and fourth sets behind a front row featuring three 6-footers.
“We just kind of let our emotions get away from us,” Whetham said. “Their front row really gave us problems. They were triple-blocking.”
A coaching adjustment helped make the difference for the Lady Bobcats in the fifth set. Whetham moved senior Taylor Swofford from the middle to the outside and Swofford got on a roll.
“She got in a rhythm and got three, four, five kills right in a row,” Whetham said. “Once we got on top, we just finished it off.”
Whetham praised the entire team — “Everybody played phenomenal,” she said — but she was especially proud of senior libero Kelsey Smith, who finished with 20 digs.
“She played hands down the best game she’s ever played,” Whetham said. “She was just everywhere.”
Senior Lexy Anderson had 15 kills for the Lady Bobcats, while junior Lauren Compton added 12. Swofford finished with 11, while senior Jordan Estepp chipped in 10.
Estepp had a team-high three blocks, with Anderson and junior Lilli Compton adding two each.
Lilli Compton and Anderson each recorded five aces, with Lauren Compton adding four and senior Kate Powell two.
Despite the win, Whetham there is still plenty of room for improvement by the Lady Bobcats.
“We still have a lot of work to do,” she said. “We can’t let our emotions get away from us.”
Berryville played Shiloh Christian in Springdale on Thursday. The Lady Bobcats will host Ozark on Monday.