Mena was the big winner in Thursday’s volleyball tri-match at Van Buren, but by the time it was over all three teams had reasons to feel good about the night.
Mena (4-1) dominated Alma and Van Buren, winning all four games the Lady Bearkats played.
"We had a good match," Mena coach Brad Lyle said. "We came out a little sluggish and Van Buren was really hustling and got after us that first game. After that, we played very well. My stat keeper did not make the trip but I know Natalie Rose, Daryan Torix and Maegan Kent all played well."
Old rivals Van Buren and Alma squared off in a tight match. Alma (0-4) won the first game 25-19. Aubrey Bailey had a big kill late and Hailey Ostrander an ace at game point. Van Buren (3-1) bounced back to win the second game, 25-12.
The third game was much closer. It was tied at 7 early before Van Buren moved ahead 14-10. Alma battled back to tie it at 14 before a deep ball from Chloe Bauman made it match point at 15-14 for Van Buren. Freshman Emilee Aaron put the match away with a kill.
Aaron made 10 kills and three blocks against Alma, Bauman had eight kills and three blocks and Alyssa Hilmer had four kills and three blocks.
Van Buren has started out the season with three wins in the first week after winning only four matches last year.
"We are more healthy and playing with more confidence," Van Buren coach Stephanie Hill said. "Alma is always a good defensive team and they are especially tough early in the year. They get a lot of balls back and make you make a mistake."
Van Buren is off for a week until the Pointerettes travel to Springdale Har-Ber.
"We have a chance to take a few days off and come get some good practice in and work on some things," Hill said. "We are going to have to play strong on the block against some of the better hitting teams."
Alma was led by Bailey with seven kills and one ace. Ostrander had two aces and 31 digs.
"We are a young team and are still experimenting with the lineup," Alma coach Tiffaney Drinkwitz said. "We started with losses to 7A schools with Har-Ber and Rogers and we came over here and played pretty well against two good teams. I feel really fired up about how we played.
"We are getting a lot better and starting to click a little bit."
High School Volleyball
At Van Buren
Mena def. Van Buren 26-24, 25-15.
Mena def. Alma 25-13, 25-19.
Van Buren def. Alma 19-25, 25-12, 16-14.