Lady Bobcats find footing, win 2 of 3
By Scott Loftis
With a revamped starting lineup and very little preseason preparation, the Berryville Lady Bobcats needed a little time to find their rhythm. Coach Kristin Whetham believed it wouldn’t take long for that to happen, however, and it turned out that she was right.
Berryville won two of its three matches last week, winning on the road at Blue Eye and Gentry on consecutive nights before pushing Harrison to the brink in a five-set home loss on Thursday, Sept. 3.
“We made some minor adjustments, and it seems to be working,” Whetham said. “I think it’s all starting to come out on the good side.”
Berryville doesn’t have its typical size this season, and the Lady Bobcats’ starters are playing together for the first time since junior high. But that doesn’t mean Berryville is without talent, and Whetham believed her team would improve quickly.
“Once we got it going, got a few games under our belt, made some minor adjustments, I had full confidence that it wouldn’t take long,” she said. “Or at least I was hoping.”
Even in the loss to Harrison, when Berryville dropped the final three sets after winning a second-set tiebreaker for a 2-0 lead, Whetham found very little room for criticism.
“My girls played phenomenal,” she said. “We’re still making a few errors, but just from watching our game against Pea Ridge and then turning around a week later and playing Harrison the way we did, it’s a vast improvement in a week’s amount of time. These girls are really listening and taking what we’re doing in practice and putting it into the game, so I’m very proud of them.”
Whetham said senior Lauren Compton has 64 kills and seven aces this season.
“Lauren Compton is playing really, really well right now,” Whetham said.
Seniors Ella McMellon (37 kills, six blocks) and Lilli Compton (12 aces) are also playing well, as are classmates Sunny Tibbetts and Lexi Woods.
Berryville will travel to Prairie Grove on Tuesday, then will host Gravette on Thursday. The Lady Bobcats will be without senior starter Abby Thurman, who aggravated a knee injury against Harrison and is expected to miss two weeks. Her sister, sophomore Mia Thurman, will start in her place.