The Booneville volleyball team tried to get back on the right track when they played Mansfield last Monday night. The LadyCats had already defeated the Lady Tigers at the Mena tournament and felt confident going in, but the Red Tigers had other ideas. Having come off a tournament win in Harrison, Mansfield rode their momentum and won the match in four games.
Charleston then came in on Thursday and the LadyCats handed the Lady Tigers a loss in the first game. After CHS took the second, there was a pitched battle in the third set, but Charleston came out on top and also won the fourth game.
The LadyCats (7-10-1, 3-5 conference) thus have lost four of their last five matches, making their contest at Waldron tomorrow night almost a must-win if the team is to improve their current fifth-place standing in the conference.
Mansfield def. LadyCats (25-15, 21-25, 25-23, 25-19)
Despite two early Aleeah Blansett kills, Mansfield pulled out to an early 7-4 lead and they kept extending it, going on top 17-6 before Emma Ramey stuffed Rylea Weaver. The senior followed with an ace and Blansett scored with another kill, but Mansfield replied with the next four points and went on to the win. Blansett started the second game with a kill, then she and Keara Ross teamed on a pair of blocks and Taylor Miller’s kill made it 6-2. Mansfield caught up and the game remained close through its middle stages. With MHS up 18-16, Ramey came up to serve and Mansfield made three hitting errors in a row, giving Booneville the lead. Blansett then got two kills and Ross and Miller added one each for game point, and the LadyCats evened the match when MHS hit one into the net.
Booneville leaped on top in the third game as Blansett and Miller teamed on a block and each also got a kill on Maddie Herrera’s serve for 6-1. The Lady Tigers caught up behind Weaver, but a Herrera dump into the middle put Kelsey Mikles up to serve, and she opened with an ace. Ramey got two kills in the sequence and BHS led 14-8 before Mansfield got the side-out. Herrera dropped another one in and Blansett got a kill for 16-12, but the Red Tigers rallied to take the lead by two before Herrera stopped it with another dink shot. Miller and Blansett followed with kills and it was then tied at 19, and when Miller put another one away BHS led by two. Mansfield retook the lead and the game was tied at 22 and 23, but MHS got the last two points.
The Red Tigers then ran off the first seven points of the fourth game and they led by six before BHS once again rallied on Ramey’s serve. She got an ace and Blansett added two kills to get Booneville within 14-12, but Mansfield came back with the next six. Two kills by Miller brought it to 21-18, but Booneville couldn’t get any closer.
Blansett had an outstanding night with 19 kills, 8 blocks and 22 digs; Miller added 10 kills while Ramey set career highs in kills ( 6 ) and digs (22). Herrera dropped five into the middle and had 28 assists, but Weaver had her own big night for Mansfield with 14 kills and three blocks.
Charleston def. LadyCats (23-25, 25-19, 26-24, 25-18)
With Aleeah Blansett getting two kills and Maddie Herrera an ace, Booneville took the early lead but Charleston came back to lead 13-8 before Emma Ramey came up to serve for BHS. An ace, a Blansett kill, a Booneville free ball from Keara Ross dropping in and a spate of hitting errors led to a 9-point Booneville run. Charleston came back within one but Ross got a timely kill, Miller followed with another and after Booneville forced a side-out for 24-23, Miller tipped one over the block and BHS took the game.
Charleston grabbed the early lead in game two, with Jadyn Womack getting several kills to push the Lady Tiger advantage. A Blansett kill and block drew BHS within 12-9 and a block by Ramey helped maintain that margin, but Booneville couldn’t hold serve the rest of the game and a couple of three-point Charleston spurts decided it. CHS also scored the first five points of the third game but soon Booneville had caught up, with a Herrera ace and two Ross kills propelling the LadyCats to tie the score.
Charleston scored the next four and it took a little time for BHS to catch up again, but a Blansett block put Herrera back on the serve line and she ran off the next seven points. The senior setter had two aces, Blansett put away two kills and Ross one before she was dismissed with Booneville up 20-17. Charleston retook the lead but Blansett tied it again and two Womack errors made it 23-21. Booneville then had two game points, but they could not take advantage and Womack put one down the line for the game.
Blansett opened the fourth game with a spike and a Kelsey Mikles ace tied it at 6, but the Lady Tigers got the next five points and once again BHS encountered trouble holding serve. It was not until Ramey got back to the serve line that Booneville rallied again. Her own kill put her there and then Blansett scored twice and Miller once to make it 20-17. However, they could not sustain it and the Lady Tigers got the win.
Blansett again had a good match, with 15 kills, 5 blocks and 22 digs; the senior middle hitter has now had double-figure kills in her last 8 matches and has put 80 of her last 81 serves in play. Miller added six kills and Ross got five and had 17 digs. Five different LadyCats had double figures in digs, including Herrera, who added four aces and 28 assists to her 14 digs. Herrera didn’t miss a serve in 26 tries and Ramey was 20 for 21.