In a busy week, the Booneville LadyCats had quite the mixed bag of volleyball results. They split two conference matches, then split their first three matches of pool play in the Mena tournament before falling to conference rival Mansfield and defending 3A runner-up Ashdown in their final two matches.
But coach Janice West stated after the tournament that they learned some things about themselves that they can carry over to their regular matches.
The LadyCats travel to Elkins tomorrow before welcoming four-time defending Class 3A champion Paris to Bearcat Gym next Monday.
Charleston def. LadyCats (25-12, 25-11, 25-17)
The LadyCats were overwhelmed in the first two games. Stevey Harrower did get a match-opening kill, but with Charleston leading 10-6 they went on a 10-point run as Sidney Kaempfe served four aces and Jadyn Womack added a trio of kills. An Alivia Yeakley spike finally halted the blitz but the damage had been done. The second set was similar except Charleston jumped to the early lead before Booneville attempted a comeback. Back-to-back kills by Brooklyn Zarlingo and a Harrower ace cut the Charleston lead to 14-8 but the Lady Tigers again ran off 10 in a row to decide the game.
Booneville stormed to a 6-0 lead in the third game as Yeakley blocked two Lady Tiger kills and Hayley Lunsford added an ace and a shoot attack. Zarlingo and Lunsford got kills and Keara Ross added two as Booneville sought to keep CHS at bay. The second Ross kill made it 13-10, but Charleston then made a 15-4 run to end the match. Zarlingo led the LadyCats with four kills but they had no answer for Womack, who put it down 11 times for the Lady Tigers.
LadyCats def. Lincoln (25-13, 25-20, 20-25, 25-13)
Booneville was quickly on top 8-3 as Alivia Yeakley got things going with a kill and an ace. Joleigh Tate added two kills and a block early in the game as the LadyCats stretched it to 14-6, then Keara Ross got in on the act with two kills. Stevey Harrower also dropped the hammer twice and added an ace, then Hayley Lunsford put two more away before Ross ended the first game.
Yeakley had two aces early in the second game but Lincoln this time wasn’t going away quietly. They were within 10-9 before Lunsford ran off four points on her serve, including an ace. Ross followed with a kill and two unreturnable serves for 18-12 and Brooklyn Zarlingo’s second kill of the game got it to 20-14 and kills by Tate, Lunsford, and finally Yeakley gave the second game to BHS.
It looked as if Booneville was going to bury the Lady Wolves early in the third game as four different players got kills for a 5-1 lead. But Lincoln later got two runs of four points each, eventually taking a 19-15 lead. Booneville would cut it to 22-20 but LHS scored the last three points for the game. The LadyCats would not make the same mistake in the fourth game; a Ross block opened the proceedings, then Harrower had a kill and Yeakley two more. Ross and Yeakley would add aces and BHS led 9-2. Lincoln got within four but Zarlingo halted that with a kill and a Harrower ace and a Lunsford spike restored order. The Lady Cats ended it with a tour de force as Lunsford and Harrower got kills to bring it to match point, where Zarlingo emphatically ended it with a violent kill.
Lunsford had a big match with 10 kills and 19 assists; Ross added six kills and Zarlingo five, the same number as Yeakley who also served five aces. It was the 175th win for the Booneville program since it was restarted in 2007.
The LadyCats started it off with a bang-bang against Arkadelphia as Keara Ross ripped a kill which was followed by a Hayley Lunsford ace. Joleigh Tate scored with a pair of shoot attacks and an ace and later Stevey Harrower put away two kills, the last bringing up game point which Tate put away. They jumped on the Lady Badgers again in the second game as Harrower got two more kills and combined with Tate on a block. Ross then followed with an ace and Tate scored with another shoot for 12-7. But with the LadyCats leading 14-11, Arkadelphia went on a 12-1 run and gained the split.
The next opponent was Mena’s JV team and again Ross started things off with a kill and an ace and Harrower continued her hot hand with three kills for 11-6. Brooklyn Zarlingo added an ace but Mena came back within one before Ross got another kill and Lunsford an ace to restore order. Later, Katelynn Spain served an ace after the red and black had got within two and she served the game out. Lunsford and Ross had aces early in the second game but Mena got two four-point runs to take the lead. A Lunsford kill helped Raven McCubbin win four points on her serve to get Booneville within two and later a Zarlingo ace tied it at 16. But the Mena JV squad then made a 6-3 run at a critical time and despite two Lunsford kills went on to earn the split. This helped the JV squad improbably win the pool.
Third-year volleyball school Pottsville was the next Booneville opponent and Lunsford welcomed them rudely with two aces. Ross and Harrower got kills and another one, this time by Tate, made it 13-10. Ross and Harrower followed with two kills each and Lunsford added another, then Zarlingo served two aces on the way to 24-18. But the junior then lost her serve and the Lady Apaches made an improbable comeback to win the game. But Booneville quickly took control 11-5 in the second game with Alivia Yeakley getting two kills. A third kill by the junior middle hitter later in the game brought Ross to the serve line where she served up two aces. A Zarlingo kill put Katelynn Spain on serve and she ripped an ace to end the match with another split.
A win by Mena’s JV over Mansfield opened the door for Booneville to take second place in the pool if they could get by the Lady Tigers. The LadyCats grabbed the early lead on kills by Ross and Zarlingo and a combined block by Tate and Harrower. MHS took the lead back but the LadyCats got three kills from Ross to seemingly take control. But then Booneville’s attacking went south and Mansfield ended the game on an 11-4 run. With the LadyCats locked into third in the pool, Coach Janice West gave the starters a rest and played her JV in the second game. Hayley Roberts put away a bad Mansfield set early and Brylee Washburn stuffed the Lady Tiger middle, but an eight-point run by MHS made it 21-11. There were still moments to come as Roberts jumped to block a kill and had the ball hit her in the head, but it landed on Mansfield’s side for a point. Halee Villarreal then followed with an ace as the JV group gave a pretty good account of themselves.
The LadyCats took on Ashdown in the first round of bracket play, and Ross with a kill and Lunsford with an ace started things right. But the Pantherettes made a six-point run to take the lead before a pair of Tate kills and a block by Lunsford got BHS within two. Zarlingo then got a kill and an ace to get BHS within 13-12 but the LadyCats couldn’t hold serve the rest of the way and Ashdown took the game 25-17. Ross got a kill and Spain added an ace early in the second game, then Zarlingo rifled two aces to give Booneville the lead and Tate then added two more to extend it to 12-8. AHS tied it but Lunsford put one away and followed that with an ace. But after a Ross kill put BHS up 17-14, Ashdown outscored Booneville 11-1 the rest of the way to take the match. Ross had seven kills in the match to give her 19 for the day.