Gravette sweeps Siloam Springs
Gravette’s young hitters hammered away at Siloam Springs on Thursday, Aug. 25, in the Lady Panthers’ home opener.
The combination of freshman Piper Batie, sophomore Ella Pinches and junior Graci Moffit produced a significant amount of points for Gravette as the Lady Lions rolled to a 25-23, 25-21, 25-20 sweep of the Lady Panthers inside Panther Activity Center.
“We’re not a one-hitter team,” said Gravette head coach Britney Davis. “Every hitter that is on this squad delivered. We can get the ball to anybody and they’re going to be able to put the ball away, which is really, really special. We’re young. The majority of my hitters are freshman and sophomores and one junior.”
Gravette (2-0) got three straight aces from Pinches in Game 1 to take an early 7-4 lead. Siloam Springs (0-2) fought back, and the two teams traded punches until three straight hitting errors put Gravette in front for good at 18-16.
Pinches served another ace and Moffit and junior Keeley Elsea added a kill off the right side for a 2217 lead.
The Lady Lions led 2419 in Game 1, and Siloam Springs closed within 2423 until a kill from junior Belen Nelson gave Gravette the early match lead.
Jetta Broquard had back-to-back kills in the second set as Siloam Springs led 5-3, but Gravette went on a 7-3 run to take a 10-6 lead.
Sophomore Drew Madison had two aces in that run for Gravette and Pinches added a kill.
Lillian Wilkie had two kills and an ace, and Broquard and Aveary Speed added kills for Siloam Springs, which pulled within 13-12. Gravette scored the next three to lead 16-12, but Siloam Springs reeled off four straight points to tie the match at 16.
Leading 20-10, a combo block from Gravette’s Nelson and Pinches, followed by two kills from Piper, put the Lady Lions in front, 23-20.
Moffit’s kill a few plays later ended the second set, 25-21.
Gravette remained in control for much of the third set, thanks to four kills from Piper, who is also a setter.
Gravette led 13-8 after back-to-back kills from Moffit and Piper. The Lady Lions led 20-14 after a kill from Nelson.
Siloam Springs scored four straight points to get within 20-18, but the Lady Lions answered with three, all on hitting errors, which seemed to pile up for the Lady Panthers.
“We talked to the hitters about making better choices and how it’s their responsibility to put the ball down,” said Siloam Springs coach Joellen Wright. “Some of that is youth at times on the big stage.”
Batie’s kill ended the match, 25-20, for the Gravette sweep.
“We’ve been working really hard,” Davis said. “We’ve been working really hard. This is my fourth season. This is four years in the making of getting this team ready.”
Siloam Springs had some players fighting through injuries and ailments, which caused a little disruption in the offensive flow, Wright said.
“Tempo was a little different,” she said.