Last Tuesday night in Mena, Macy Geddes got a late birthday present.
The Booneville senior outside hitter — whose birthday had been the previous Saturday — was the recipient of an errant Mena set at match point. Such things are called “happy birthdays” in volleyball, and Geddes slapped it down, enabling Booneville to grab the road conference win (24-26, 25-19, 25-20, 25-16).
It was the first win for BHS over Mena since Oct. 9, 2010, and only the second win ever over the red and black Ladycats. That 2010 win took place at the Paris tournament.
The triumph, in the only match of the week, moved Booneville to 7-2 overall and 3-0 in combined conference play.
The junior high team gave a very good effort against an excellent Mena team but talent and experience told in the end with MJH taking the win. But the team appears to have found their libero, and she has the same first name as that of the senior high team. Eighth grader Paisley Vickers took some hard Mena hits and enabled Booneville to stay in many points.
A showdown looms tomorrow night at Bearcat Gym, with the LadyCats taking on an undefeated (as of press time) Paris team. The Lady Eagles recently won the Alma tournament. Then the twice-rescheduled Mulberry match will finally take place next Monday before the team travels to Lavaca the next day.
Booneville def. Mena (24-26, 25-19, 25-20, 25-16)
The early lead belonged to Booneville in the first set. Aleeah Blansett had a kill and an ace with Haley Carter scoring on two kills, and BHS led 10-7. Mena scored the next six, eventually leading 15-11, but Booneville evened it, then pulled ahead on Jordan Weaver’s serve. Carter had two kills, Haley Simpson one and Weaver added an ace, making it 22-17. Booneville had a game point at 24-21, but MHS rallied to score the last five points.
Carter smacked down two kills to start the second game and soon got another, but Mena took a 6-3 lead. A back-row kill by Paisley Templeman started the comeback and this time it was Blansett’s serve that proved profitable, with Simpson scoring with three kills and Carter one to get within 13-12. Mena pulled away again but two Templeman aces and a kill by Macy Geddes—unusual because it was with her right hand instead of the preferred left—handed BHS the lead at 18-17. From there Booneville outscored the red and black 7-2 to close out the game.
After a close beginning to the third game, it was again Weaver’s serve on which Boonevile did some business. First, Maddie Herrera got a dump in the middle and then Simpson scored with a hit down the line. Three Mena errors later, it was 15-7, but the home team cut the lead to three quickly. Blansett countered with an ace and Carter threw down to restore order but MHS got another run to draw within 17-16. BHS re-established control with a Geddes kill for 22-17; another spike by the 5-10 senior took Booneville to game point on which Blansett scored when her hit hung on the net and fell on Mena’s side.
Templeman served another ace early in the fourth game to get Booneville off to a good start; also included were two Geddes kills and one by Carter. A Weaver kill made it 6-3, and two three-point runs put the purple and gold on top 12-7. Another drop shot by Herrera made it 16-9, then it became 20-12 on a Blansett kill. A mild Mena rally was quickly snuffed out, and Herrera put it on a plate for first Carter and then Simpson for match point. Herrera’s serve forced a hard dig which the Mena setter pushed just over the net, where Geddes was waiting to put it away.
Carter finished with 13 kills, with Simpson adding nine, and Geddes and Blansett scored with eight each. Herrera broke her assist record set earlier this season against Atkins as she set the ball 34 times for kills, and Templeman came up with 53 digs. Casey Townsend and Kate FitzPatrick came off the bench to get key digs, with Townsend not missing any passes. The Booneville servers, when not serving aces (11), were forcing free balls by Mena, which made it easier for a Booneville attack to start.
Mena def. Booneville (25-15, 25-14)
BJH snatched the early lead when Paisley Vickers came up with an ace, but Mena quickly put together a six-point run to take control. Booneville kept it close when Hayley O’Connor came up with a kill to make it 10-8, but they wouldn’t hold again until Vickers fired another unreturnable serve. That made it 16-14, but the red and black made a 9-1 run to end the first game.
The purple and gold again grabbed an early advantage in the second game, with Vickers keeping Booneville in many points with her digging. Abby O’Bar’s kill put BJH up 5-4 and an O’Connor block made the lead two. However, Mena then made a big run as Booneville only held serve once more in the game, on a Jessica Cauthon ace.
Vickers finished with 13 digs and two aces; O’Connor and O’Bar each had two kills. Brooklyn Zarlingo also had a good defensive match, coming up with seven digs. Mena had to earn nearly every point they got on Booneville’s serve, as BJH missed only one serve in the match going 30-for-31.