Lady Blackhawks take first set from Shiloh
Lady Blackhawks drop semifinal match 3-1
Pea Ridge became the last 4A-1 team to punch a ticket to state with a 25-16, 25-13, 25-9 sweep of Gravette in the district tournament at Lincoln Tuesday, Oct. 17.
The Lady Blackhawks then tried to take a step further with a 25-22 upset of top-seeded Shiloh Christian in game one of the first semifinal. After dropping their first set to a 4A team all season, the Lady Saints took care of business by winning three straight, 2514, 25-8 and 25-17, to claim the match and a berth in Thursday’s championship match at the Lincoln High School gym.
“Our girls played really well, they came out focused,” said Pea Ridge coach Jessica Woods, saying she was proud of her team which doesn’t have any seniors for how they handled the pressure of playing for a state tournament berth.
“They’ve never got to go to state, so they were really determined to win. Ours is a team of underclassmen. We don’t have any seniors.”
She liked the energy the Lady Blackhawks displayed during the first set, 25-22, win over Shiloh.
“That was nice, they carried over the excitement and momentum of going to state into that first set and played really well.”
That game was all Pea Ridge early. Junior Madison Mcguire had two aces and classmate Cassy Porter and sophomore Kynley Burton added kills as the Lady Blackhawks jumped out to a 7-3 lead. Shiloh coach
Nathan Bodenstein called time-out with his squad trailing, 14-11, after another Burton kill.
“Where’s your energy? Where’s your energy?” Bodenstein repeated a question in the huddle.
The Lady Saints couldn’t get in rhythm. Each time they closed to within a point, they’d give a point back with a service error. Freshmen Josey Goldberg’s kill from the back-row brought Pea Ridge to gamepoint at 24-22 and Shiloh couldn’t handle a strong hit by Pea Ridge junior Gabby Adams. The Lady Saints had four hits and lost the first set, 25-22.
They trailed early in the second set, 4-1, before using a 9-0 run to grab the lead. A hitting error gave Pea Ridge a point, then Shiloh reeled off the next five points. Shiloh’s Lexi Richards, who recorded 21 kills and 16 digs gave Pea Ridge trouble at the net with block-kills and her teammates, who didn’t produce much of an attack in the first set, got going.
Kaylee Jackson had a pair of kills sandwiched around the offense of Richards (dig), Jentry Lantzsch (set) and Jordan Rochelle (kill) to push Shiloh’s advantage to 20-8. Shiloh never looked back, winning the second set, 25-14 and the third set 25-8. Pea Ridge made a little headway in the third set on back-to-back aces from Mcguire, but they could get no closer than 15-13. Shea Sandefur’s block-kill brought the Lady Saints to match-point, at 24-17. She finished off the Lady Blackhawks with a strong hit that caromed outof-bounds off Pea Ridge to make the final, 25-17.
“Jessica Woods is a great coach. She always has a well-prepared team,” Bodenstein said. “They are pretty young and they came out with a lot of energy. I’m happy with how we handled it after that first set.”
Lantzsch and Haddie McDonald combined for 40 assists, which Bodenstein said is probably a seasonhigh. McDonald had 12 digs and Lantzsch had 9.
“They almost each had a double-double and my libero Taylor Larson finally came to play. She had 25 digs.”
Pea Ridge finished the match without Burton, who was extremely effective in the first set. She sat out with an injury and didn’t return.
Pea Ridge coach Jessica Woods goes over tactics with the Lady Blackhawk volleyball team during a timeout while competing against Shiloh Christian in the semifinals, Tuesday, Oct. 17 at Lincoln. Pea Ridge handed Shiloh their first set loss to a 4A team, 25-22, in game one, but lost the match 3-1.