Lady 'Cats lose in first round of state tournament

Tuesday, October 31, 2017
The Lady Bobcats celebrate after winning a point in Tuesday's match at the state tournament in Batesville.
Scott McDonald / Batesville Daily Guard

The Berryville Lady Bobcat volleyball team had hoped for a better result in the first round of the state tournament on Tuesday, but a 25-20, 15-26, 25-21, 25-19 win for the Southside Batesville Lady Southerners ended Berryville's season at Lyon College in Batesville.

"We just didn't play the way we are capable of playing," Berryville coach Kristin Whetham said. "I didn't like the draw we had. Going to Batesville and playing Batesville was probably not the best draw for us. Even though we came out as district champs, and that was a great victory for us, it didn't put us in the best situation."

An ace by Chaney Seitz combined with a kill by Lexy Anderson helped give the Lady Bobcats an early 10-6 lead in the first set. However, Berryville hit the ball into the net on consecutive points to give the Lady Southerners a 16-12 lead. A block by Kelcee Hopper, along with kills from Anderson and Seitz helped tie the set at 17-17, but Southside Batesville went on an 8-3 run to end the set.

"I think we were the better and bigger team," Whetham said. "All of my hitters were stronger and taller than they were. Our blocks were there, we just couldn't get a ball to get down and inbounds. We kept hitting everything out of bounds or in the net, it seemed like."

It looked like things might turn around in the second set. Trailing 11-12, Berryville junior Maryn Jones got two kills and Hannah Morrell got an ace to give Berryville a 17-12 lead. A Seitz kill extended the lead to 21-15 and Kamryn Smith's kill gave the Lady Bobcats a 24-16 lead before Hopper's dig ended the set. Whetham felt as if Jones gave the Lady Bobcats a lift off the bench.

"I thought Maryn came in and played her heart out," Whetham said. "We didn't step into the game and play too well. We lost that first set and we were down in the second set. We put Maryn in and all of a sudden, she was a spark to our team. I feel like she was the reason we won that second set."

The Lady Bobcats trailed 1-6 early in the third set and never led. Aspen Smith and Kelsey Smith each had an ace and Nora Waller had a kill.

"It was nice getting that spark, winning the second set," Whetham said. "I just wish it would have lasted longer than one set. Unfortunately the game of volleyball is a roller coaster and our roller coaster wasn't heading in the right direction Tuesday night."

Marlea Stone and Taylor Swofford each had a kill early in the fourth set and Kelsey Smith had an ace to keep things tied at 15-15. The Lady Southerners ended the set on a 10-4 run to win the match.

The Lady Bobcats graduate six seniors in Aspen Smith, Marlea Stone, Nora Waller, Chaney Seitz, Kamryn Smith and Jaiden Hutchison.

"I played quite a few seniors this year," Whetham said. "Aspen was my lone three year starter. She has played the libero position for her entire career with me. It will be hard to replace her, but I have some young kids who can step up and do the job. I just hope this senior class can learn from losing in the first round of the state tournament. Athletics leads you into your career. It gives you a good work ethic for your job and for college. I hope they can take what they learned from me in volleyball and just sports in general and move forward and be successful in whatever they do."

Berryville finished the year 29-8-1.

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