Volleyball momentum can turn on a dime and so it went for Booneville when they visited Waldron last Thursday night.
The LadyCats had lost the first game and were down 23-19 in the second but the tipping point came on a side-out. That put Aleeah Blansett on the front row and she quickly delivered four kills tin five points as BHS rallied to win the game. The Booneville fans then got going, outshining the Waldron student section, and the LadyCats took control of the match. With Blansett continuing her onslaught and Emma Ramey having her best night as a LadyCat, Booneville rather easily took the last two games and won in four.
Coupled with a win over Lincoln earlier in the week, the LadyCats evened their conference record at 5-5 as they await the visit of Paris tomorrow. The team will be in the Paris tournament on Saturday with Greene County Tech, Mena and Charleston being the pool play opponents.
LadyCats def. Lincoln (25-15, 25-8, 25-18)
The first big run came on Brooklyn Zarlingo’s serve in the first game, as Taylor Miller nailed two kills, Keara Ross one, and Zarlingo had two aces. That made it 10-3 but Lincoln made a five-point run themselves to get back in it. Booneville gradually pulled away again with a Ross kill starting a three-point run for 19-13 and later a side-out put Ros on the serve line. Emma Ramey got a block and a kill and two Lincoln errors gave BHS the first game. Lincoln actually had a lead early in the second game but Ramey got to the serve line and by the time she left it, Booneville had scored 15 in a row. Aleeah Blansett, who had been quiet in the first game, had five kills and four blocks in that sequence. Ramey added two aces and it was 21-6, and Zarlingo ended the game with a kill.
Blansett’s block started the third game and Zarlingo followed with three kills and an ace. Kelsey Mikles then got a spike for 7-2 and then Ramey got another run on her serve, this time of five, to make it 12-5. The last half of the game belonged to Maddie Herrera as, in addition to getting three assists, she dropped four shots into the middle, including the match-winner. Blansett had 13 kills and seven blocks, and Herrera wound up with five dump shots and added 26 assists.
LadyCats def. Waldron (17-25, 25-23, 25-12, 25-18)
Waldron scored the first five points of the match but Aleeah Blansett got to the serve line and dropped in three aces to even the game. But the Lady Bulldogs got a second five-point run and followed with one of 11 to make it 23-9. Booneville fired back on Emma Ramey’s serve with four different players getting kills and Ramey getting an ace, but the run was too late to be consequential.
The Lady Bulldogs also took the lead in the second game, at 11-7, before another Ramey ace got Booneville within two. Aleeah Blansett got a block and Maddie Herrera served an ace to get BHS within one, but Waldron then got a 8-5 run and were within two points of taking the second game. But Booneville forced a side-out and Blansett got to the front row, and the senior took control. She scored four kills in the last five points and the LadyCats evened the match.
Booneville made a slight change to their rotation to start the third game, sending Ramey back to serve first instead of Herrera as normal, and it immediately paid off as Blansett swatted a Waldron kill attempt away. She followed with two kills and Brooklyn Zarlingo followed that with an ace and when Blansett returned to the front after a Ramey kill, she quickly got two more blocks to add to a Taylor Miller kill. A four-point run on Emily Nelson’s serve ensued with Herrera dropping one in the middle and Zarlingo getting two kills for 15-7. Herrera followed with an ace and Blansett got two more kills before Keara Ross finished the game off with an ace.
The fourth game turned out to be a showcase for Ramey, as the 5-8 senior took control. Following a Blansett ace, Ramey put an emphatic block on a Waldron attack and quickly followed with a kill. Kills by Miller and Herrera ensued and then Ramey got one as well, sending her to the serve line where she blistered two aces to make it 13-8. A Blansett kill put her on serve and Ramey then got kills on three straight points for 22-13. Fittingly, the match ended when Ramey swept a Waldron overpass away.
Ramey set career highs in kills, blocks, and aces in a match with 8, 8 and 4 respectively, and added 13 digs. Blansett scored with 13 kills, had seven blocks of her own and also served four aces. Miller added five spikes and Herrera got three drop shots and two aces to add to 25 assists.