Lady Lions come up short in district tournament
GRAVETTE — After a big win against the Lady Eagles Oct. 15, the Gravette Lady Lion volleyball team faced the Number 2 seed Lady Goblins in the second round of the 4A Northwest District tournament at Blackhawk Gym in Pea Ridge Oct. 16. The end result, Harrison advanced to the quarterfinal round, ending the Lady Lions’ 2018 season.
In first round action, the Lady Lions faced the Huntsville Lady Eagles, a team Gravette defeated two of the three times this season. In the first set, the lead switched hands several times before the Lady Eagles gained the advantage and eventually won the first set 25-22. But that is the only set Huntsville would win during the four-set contest.
Gravette took the court determined to keep its season alive and send Huntsville home, and that is exactly what the Lady Lions did. Gravette took the next three sets, 25-16, 25-15 and 25-14, to defeat the Huntsville Lady Eagles three sets to one and advance to the next round.
The Lady Lions, still reveling in their victory over Huntsville, were ready to fight to the bitter end. And this game was far different than the previous two meetings between the two teams when the Lady Goblins overwhelmed the Lady Lions to win both regularseason contests.
The opening set went to Harrison, 25-18, but the second set proved to be one of the best battles for the Gravette Lady Lions all season long. Gravette kept pace with Harrison, staying no more than three points behind in the early stages of the match. As the contest approached the 25-point mark, Gravette tied Harrison, forcing the match to continue until either team was up by two. At 27 each, the Lady Lions ran out of steam and Harrison dropped two straight points past Gravette to take the set, 29-27.
The Lady Lions caught the Lady Goblins by surprise in the third set, overtaking and eventually winning the contest, 2517. Harrison came back in what would be the fourth and final set and outlasted Gravette to take the set, 25-14, and the second round victory, three sets to one, to advance to the next round.
The Gravette Lady Lions finished the 2018 season 7-11 overall and 4-8 in conference play. This was the bittersweet end for seven Lady Lion seniors’ high school careers. For coach Brandi Varner, many of her players will be returning next season. In the meantime, there will be lots of off-season conditioning to prepare for the 2019 Gravette Lady Lion volleyball season.