Valley View Towers Over Lady Cardinals
FARMINGTON LOSES STATE TOURNEY BID
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.
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.