State tournament-bound: Lady Bobcats clinch automatic bid with win at Harrison

Tuesday, October 15, 2019
Berryville’s Abby Thurman makes a play at the net in a match earlier this season.
Charles Chappell /

By Scott Loftis

The Berryville Lady Bobcats are headed to the Class 4A state volleyball tournament, and they punched their ticket in style with a three-set sweep of Harrison on the Lady Goblins’ home floor.

Berryville won 25-18, 25-20, 25-14 on Oct. 8. The victory assures the Lady Bobcats (13-1, 8-1 4A Northwest) of a top seed and first-round bye in the district tournament and an automatic berth in the state tournament. The state tournament will begin Oct. 29 at Morrilton High School.

“We are so excited,” Berryville coach Kristin Whetham said. “Last year was the first time in six or seven years that we didn’t go to state, and I know the girls were disappointed. So we are excited to get back there.”

It was especially sweet to clinch the state tournament trip with a victory at Harrison. Berryville beat the Lady Goblins in a five-set thriller earlier this season at Bobcat Gym, but the rematch didn’t have the same drama as the Lady Bobcats dominated from start to finish.

“We really played well all-around,” Whetham said. “We hit the ball well and just did everything really well.”

Senior Taylor Swofford had a team-high eight kils, while seniors Lexy Anderson and Jordan Estepp added seven each. Junior Lauren Compton had three kills, six aces and 12 digs. Senior Kate Powell had 21 assists and three aces. Senior Kelsey Smith had 14 digs and two aces, and Estepp had two blocks.

Berryville lost to Shiloh Christian in five sets on Thursday, Oct. 10. The Lady Bobcats will host Huntsville on Thursday, Oct. 17.

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