Lady Bobcats reach Elite Eight: Berryville falls to defending champions

Tuesday, November 5, 2019
From left to right, Berryville’s Lilli Compton, Kelsey Smith, Jordan Estepp and Lexy Anderson in the Class 4A state tournament.
Charles Chappell /

By Scott Loftis

The Berryville Lady Bobcats ran into a juggernaut Wednesday night in the second round of the Class 4A state volleyball tournament at Devil Dog Arena in Morrilton.

The Valley View Lady Blazers, the defending state champions, swept the Lady Bobcats in three sets. Valley View won 25-17, 25-11, 25-11.

The Lady Bobcats led just once in the first set, at 2-1, before Valley View surged to a 7-3 lead. But Berryville was within 18-16 after a Valley View shot landed out of bounds.

Following a timeout, however, the Lady Blazers closed out the victory with a 7-1 run.

Berryville led the second set 7-6 before Valley View scored nine consecutive points to start a 15-2 run. A run of seven consecutive points in the third set put the Lady Blazers ahead 8-2 and another 7-0 run made it 22-7.

Berryville, which finished 16-5-1, advanced to the second round by sweeping Magnolia in three sets on Tuesday. Berryville won that match 25-19, 25-19, 25-13.

The Lady Bobcats set the tone early against Magnolia, jumping out to a 12-2 lead in the first set behind three consecutive kills from senior Taylor Swofford. An ace by junior Lilli Compton made it 16-4, and the Lady Bobcats closed out the set with consecutive kills by senior Lexy Anderson and Swofford.

Magnolia had its best stretch of the match early in the second set, using a 5-0 run to take an 8-7 lead. After a timeout, however, Berryville scored eight consecutive points, capped by an Anderson kill for a 15-8 advantage. Junior Lauren Compton’s ace made it 24-17 and senior Jordan Estepp finished the set with a tip for the final point.

In the final set, a Swofford kill capped an 8-0 run that put the Lady Bobcats up 11-2. Consecutive kills by Estepp and Anderson made it 23-11 and the match ended when a Magnolia shot went out of bounds.

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