Val­ley View Tow­ers Over Lady Car­di­nals

FARM­ING­TON LOSES STATE TOUR­NEY BID

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - SPORTS - By Mark Humphrey

FARM­ING­TON — A dis­tinc­tive height dis­ad­van­tage chal­lenged Farm­ing­ton (11-8-1) against Val­ley View dur­ing a first-round sweep (25-10, 25-12, 25-20) State 4A Vol­ley­ball tour­na­ment Tues­day, Oct. 23, 2018, at Mena.

The Lady Blaz­ers (34-2, 16-0 4A-3), cham­pi­ons of the 4A North­east District came in with four play­ers over 6-feet, in­clud­ing 6-4 sopho­more Ash­ley Lamkin. Over the course of the season Val­ley View racked up some lofty num­bers. Val­ley View 6-1 se­nior Emily Grace Cal­hoon recorded 297 kills and 90 blocks to lead the Lady Blaz­ers in those cat­e­gories. Se­nior Ab­bi­gail Mcgee had 150 serv­ing aces, and 596 as­sists while se­nior Lexee Cald­well had 357 digs com­ing into the match with the Lady Car­di­nals.

Farm­ing­ton’s num­bers seemed mod­est in com­par­i­son. En­ter­ing state tour­na­ment com­pe­ti­tion, Kally Stout led the Lady Car­di­nals in kills with 144; Ad­di­son Fen­ton, 24 blocks; Brit­tany Pittman, 52 serv­ing aces; Paige An­der­son, 166 digs; and El­iza Ball, 233 as­sists.

The fact that Farm­ing­ton qual­i­fied to state tes­ti­fied to the dili­gence of for­mer coach Mar­shall Ward, who re­signed to take a teach­ing job at Haas Hall over the sum­mer, and his close friend and suc­ces­sor, Mike Howard, in his first season as head coach. All season long the Lady Car­di­nals com­peted well with a squad shorter than just about any op­po­nent they faced. Teams in their own con­fer­ence, the 4A-1, such as 2018 reg­u­lar season con­fer­ence cham­pion Shiloh Chris­tian with four play­ers over 6-feet; and 2017 4A-1 District tour­na­ment cham­pion, Ber­ryville, tow­ered over Farm­ing­ton.

Val­ley View won the first set de­ci­sively, 25-10; and nearly repli­cated the mar­gin, win­ning 25-12 in game-two. Farm­ing­ton made them earn the sweep, how­ever, by reach­ing 20 points in the third set be­fore fall­ing, 25-20.

MARK HUMPHREY EN­TER­PRISE-LEADER

Farm­ing­ton se­nior Kaylee Pu­ri­foy el­e­vates at the net to pound a kill past Ber­ryville ju­nior Jor­dan Estepp (left) and se­nior Kel­cee Hop­per. Farm­ing­ton de­feated Ber­ryville (25-27, 14-25, 26-24, 25-21, 15-8) to ad­vance the Lady Car­di­nals into the semi­fi­nals against Shiloh Chris­tian and se­cure a state tour­na­ment berth. Farm­ing­ton lost to No. 1 seed Val­ley View, 25-10, 25-12, 25-20, on Oct. 23, in the state tour­ney’s first-round at Mena.

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