Lady Hornets look to rebound
BRYANT — After a losing season and a missed state tournament appearance last year which saw long-time Head Coach Beth Solomon step down, the Bryant Lady Hornets volleyball team returns to the court this season with a trip to Lakeside Tuesday to take on the Lady Rams.
Taking over for Solomon last season was volleyball veteran Leigh Ann Back, who returns at the helm this season. After that tough year in a very tough 6A Central Conference, Back said the Lady Hornets have several strengths.
“Our hitting looks good,” she said. “We are pretty good-sized. I’ve got a very strong defense. I think we’ll be relatively competitive. I think we’ll be OK.”
Back said the Lady Hornets will play a split 5-1 with senior Cora Edwards and junior Shaylee Carver setting. Senior Truli Bates and junior Sammie Jo Ferguson will man the middle, while junior Cassidy Land will cover the right side.
Outside hitters will be juniors Ella Reynolds and Madelyn Hoskins, while senior Erin Thompson will cover the back as libero (defensive specialist). Liberos also going to see time in the back are juniors Jaiyah Jackson and Sam Still, and senior Kiarra Beard.
But, with the Lady
Hornets showing several strengths, inexperience at the setting position could be a problem.
“We’re still fine-tuning
a lot of things,” Back said. “My setters are a little inexperienced and I think that’s probably going to be the biggest goal that we have is to get our setters more consistent and to give them more experience. I don’t think Cora has played the position of setter since she was in seventh grade.”
And of course there is the killer 6A Central Conference, which sported the top two teams in the state last year, with Conway defeating Fort Smith Southside in the title match last season.
“We’re going to try and keep everything moving forward and keep progressing,” Back said, “and make sure we’re stressing the process to get better every day.”
After their road trip to Lakeside on Tuesday, the Lady Hornets will host Pulaski Academy on Thursday. Prior to the match, Bryant holds a catfish fry fundraiser (Riverside Grocery), which begins at 4 p.m.
RHP DJ Johnson to Triple-a Albuquerque to make room for Senzatela.
TRAINER’S ROOM Cardinals: INF Kolten Wong was held out of the lineup after fouling a pitch off his toe in the seventh inning Saturday.
Bryant junior Sam Still digs up a ball during a benefit match in Benton this past Thursday.
Bryant senior Truli Bates jump serves during a benefit match in Benton this past Thursday.