Mena gets best of Baux­ite

The Saline Courier Weekend - - SPORTS - By Tony Le­na­han

BAUX­ITE – The Baux­ite Lady Min­ers hosted the top team in the 4A West Con­fer­ence Thurs­day at Fred Daw­son Gym, fall­ing in a sweep to the Mena Lady Bearcats. Baux­ite lost 25-13, 25-7 and 25-17 to the 19-3-2, 10-0 in the West Lady Bearcats. It was Mena’s 10th straight sweep over con­fer­ence op­po­nents.

“Mena is a com­plete vol­ley­ball team and will again com­pete for a state ti­tle,” Baux­ite Coach Dave Carter said. “They built a wall well above the net that we just couldn’t seem to get through or around. I was a lit­tle sur­prised to see our un­forced er­rors were as low as they were con­sid­er­ing the score. That stat, though, also re­in­forced my view that we didn’t play as badly as the score sug­gested.

“That said, start­ing with me, we must learn to be as cre­ative as we pos­si­ble in or­der to have a chance to win no mat­ter what oppo

nent is on the other side of the net. We dug up some balls that we haven’t in the past, which is growth, yet we still found our­selves out of po­si­tion at times, only by a foot, yet that is not go­ing to work against the power and speed of teams like Mena.”

Baux­ite sopho­more Lind­sey Cross led the way with five kills, se­nior Bri­anna Hardin had four blocks, ju­nior Ri­ley Larkin four digs, and sopho­more Vic­to­ria Lock­hart had three aces.

With the loss, the Lady Min­ers (9-14-2, 6-4) fall into a tie for third place, but hold their own fate in

their hands.

“We now find our­selves in a three-way tie for third in con­fer­ence with Mag­no­lia and Malvern,” Carter said. “We play both this week, so we sim­ply need to take care of the business at hand, and that will send us to state. I am ex­cited to see us em­brace the op­por­tu­nity to suc­ceed. These ladies have grown up this year. I’m ex­cited to see them fin­ish strong.”

The Lady Min­ers will host the Har­mony Grove Car­di­nals Mon­day in non­con­fer­ence ac­tion be­fore host­ing Mag­no­lia, which Baux­ite de­feated 3-2 on the road in the first match, and at Malvern on Thurs­day. Baux­ite swept Malvern in the teams’ first match.

GREG Davis/spe­cial to The Sa­line Courier

Baux­ite sopho­more Lind­sey Cross puts a ball over the net in a match ear­lier this sea­son.

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