One big run to begin the deciding fifth game was enough for Springdale to hold off Van Buren in a tight 7A/6A-West volleyball match.
The Lady Bulldogs opened up a 10-3 lead in the fifth game. Then after the Pointerettes got within one on match point, Springdale hung on for the win, 25-14, 16-25, 25-15, 23-25, 15-13.
"We just fell short," Van Buren coach Stephanie Hill said. "The thing is, when you dig yourself a 10-3 hole, it’s hard to fight back from that. I’m glad to see them fight back but it shouldn’t happen, especially if you expect to win.
"It’s aggravating, but that’s just part of this game, it’s all about momentum and who can have it at the end."
After the teams split the first two games, Van Buren (6-4, 1-2) raced out to a 4-0 lead in the third game before Springdale (5-5-1, 1-2) answered with a 19-5 run to build a 20-10 advantage and get within a game of winning the match.
Van Buren also took a 9-3 lead in the fourth game before Springdale rallied to go in front. But the Pointerettes answered, as a block and three kills from sophomore Greer Rogers highlighted an 8-3 run which gave Van Buren a 22-19 advantage. The Pointerettes were up 24-23 and forced the fifth game when freshman Emilee Aaron blocked Springdale senior Mariah King.
But King responded in the fifth with three consecutive kills as Springdale built a 4-1 lead before eventually increasing it to 10-3. Van Buren got within one at 14-13. But a kill attempt by the Pointerettes hit the net, and Springdale — especially coach Amanda Williford — was able to exhale.
"(I liked) the way they supported each other," Williford said. "Our defense was on, our blocking was what really helped us that fifth (game), but overall, just the way the girls were supportive of each other, that’s what we’ve been working on and that made a difference."
King finished with 17 kills and six aces, including three in the first game as she served the final six points. Sophomores Desiree Mack and Ryann Goodsell added 14 and 11 kills for Springdale, with Goodsell recording eight blocks. Another Lady Bulldog sophomore, Maddie Mueller, had 36 assists and senior Marlen Reynoso had nine digs.
Aaron recorded 10 kills and six blocks and Rogers finished with 10 kills and five blocks for the Pointerettes. The kill leader for Van Buren was junior Chloe Bauman, who ended with 13.
"We’re still fairly young, I’ve only got two seniors and they both have significant roles, but overall we’re still young and so we’re going to make a lot of mistakes, but I told the girls we’re not going to ride that excuse because they’re better volleyball players than that," Hill said. "We need to have that mindset to get the job done and it doesn’t matter how old we are, we’ve just got to play volleyball."