The big question on many peoples’ minds when it came to Booneville volleyball this season was how a group with 12 new faces out of 21 players would fare.
So far, so good.
After losing the first set to Atkins on opening night, the LadyCats won the next nine in a row, taking out the Lady Red Devils before sweeping aside Jessieville and Clarksville.
Brooklyn Zarlingo registered 32 kills in the three matches, half of them coming in the season opener. Her 16 spikes in that match represented the largest number of kills by any LadyCat in a season-opening match.
Booneville goes on the road to Lincoln tomorrow night before playing in the Mena tournament on Saturday. Mansfield, Arkadelphia and Pottsville will provide the opposition in pool play.
LadyCats def. Atkins (22-25, 25-18, 25-22, 26-15)
Hayley Lunsford served consecutive aces to get Booneville going and a Brooklyn Zarlingo kill made it 6-2, but Atkins rallied and eventually took a 16-10 lead before Lunsford halted the run with a kill. Spikes by Stevey Harrower and Zarlingo helped get BHS within 18-17, but Atkins held off any further rally.
Atkins took an early lead in the second game but the LadyCats leveled the score on a Josie O’Bar kill, then took the lead on a 4-0 run capped by a Joleigh Tate ace. AHS tied it at 17 but a Zarlingo kill set off an 8-1 run to end the game. The junior finished it off with an ace.
The hosts ran out to a 6-1 third-set advantage and still led 8-3 before Zarlingo went on a tear. On Alivia Yeakley’s serve, Zarlingo ripped five kills and Harrower followed that with an ace and a kill. Later, Keara Ross got on a run with three kills; combined with two Tate aces and a block, that provided the cushion for the third-game win.
Ross had two early aces and Lunsford another to start game four; Atkins caught up but then Brylee Washburn came off the bench to provide a spark. She had two kills to go along with two blocks by Tate; still it was only 15-14 until kills by Harrower and Yeakley put the latter on the serve line, where she promptly racked up two aces to begin the match-ending 7-0 run.
Zarlingo finished with 16 kills and three aces; Harrower had six kills, with Ross and Washburn getting five each. Lunsford had 22 assists to go with three kills and three aces and Tate got four kills and five blocks with Yeakley serving four aces. Ross did not miss a serve in 21 tries and the digging was tremendous; Zarlingo had 23, Ross 22, Tate 20 and Katelynn Spain 18.
LadyCats def. Jessieville (28-26, 25-12, 25-17)
Two Stevey Harrower aces staked Booneville to an early 9-6 lead and a block and ace by Joleigh Tate made it 14-8 but the Lady Lions would not go away quietly. They went on a 6-0 run to tie it up and eventually took a 23-20 lead. Alivia Yeakley came through with a kill and Keara Ross saved a game point with another; Jessieville had a chance to win it at 26-25 but put one long and that proved fatal. Brooklyn Zarlingo followed the JHS error with a kill and Yeakley swatted down a back-row attack for the game.
A Zarlingo kill early in the second game put her on the serve line where she then smacked an ace, then Tate and Ross combined on the block for 10-4. Jessieville put on a mild rally but Brylee Washburn then came off the bench and got on a roll, scoring with three consecutive kills to make it 18-10. She would add another to bring it to game point, when Jessieville hit the ball out to end the game.
Yeakley started game three with a kill and later would add two aces for 8-3. Tate quashed an attempted comeback with consecutive shoot attacks and after Jessieville pulled within 14-13, Ross would serve two aces and Josie O’Bar scored with a kill, as did Zarlingo. Yeakley got another ace and a Tate kill made it 22-15.
The attack was more balanced this time; Zarlingo had five kills with Washburn getting four as Ross and Yeakley scored with three each. Tate had six blocks to go with 14 digs, two kills and two aces with Hayley Lunsford picking up 13 assists.
LadyCats def. Clarksville (25-14, 25-20, 25-12)
Hayley Lunsford’s ace got things going on the right foot and after two Brooklyn Zarlingo kills and one by Joleigh Tate it was 11-4. After the Lady Panthers got within three, Alivia Yeakley and Keara Ross stopped that uprising and Katelynn Spain’s ace helped bring it to game point where Zarlingo put one away.
Zarlingo had two kills and Lunsford and Yeakley scored with one each in the early part of the second game but Clarksville hung around until another Lunsford kill put her on serve and she delivered an ace. Ross followed with another for 16-9 and Booneville seemingly had things well in hand, but CHS came back again. However, that rally was halted by a Ross kill and BHS was able to take the game.
The LadyCats left no doubt in the third game. Zarlingo had three early kills and Tate added another for 7-2. Another Tate shoot attack made it 13-7 and Booneville then finished it off with a 10-1 run. Ross had an ace and Brylee Washburn got a kill and then Zarlingo polished Clarksville off with a hit into the back left corner.
Zarlingo got 11 kills and 16 digs as Ross added five and Yeakley three. Lunsford finished the night with 16 assists.