Shiloh Christian has been the class of the 5A-West all year. Tuesday night Alma put up a scrappy effort, but the Saints still brought home a win in four sets, 25-10, 23-25, 25-17, 25-18
Shiloh Christian (21-6-1, 11-0) stayed unbeaten in conference play and has all but wrapped up a No. 1 seed at the 5A State Tournament, which will be held in two weeks in Alma.
"It was a good experience to come down here and get acclimated a little to this place," Shiloh Christian coach Shyrah Schisler said. "It’s a big arena and the depth perception is a little different. So it takes a little getting used to. But we are looking forward to coming back for the state tournament, it’s a nice short trip and a nice place to have a tournament."
Shiloh had too many offensive weapons for Alma to cover. Senior Brittany Butler led the way with 16 kills and super sophomores Reagan Robinson (14 kills) and Morgan Stocklein (nine kills) attacked the Alma defense relentlessly.
"We put up a good effort, I am proud of my girls," Alma coach Tiffaney Drinkwitz said. "They are really good team with those hitters they keep putting pressure on you. It’s no accident they are 11-0 in conference play."
Shiloh dominated the first set, 25-10.
Alma answered the bell in the second, winning 25-23. Brooklyne Lunsford served up a late ace and Shelby Harness had a kill that made it game point. The Airdalettes won the final point on a long rally as Shiloh finally hit into the net.
"We hustled and played hard," Drinkwitz said. "Especially in that second game after Shiloh had won big in the first one."
Shiloh won the last two games, pulling away 25-17 and 25-18.
"We played consistent all match, that was a plus," Schisler said. "Alma kept getting to a lot of balls defensively and keeping some points alive."
Aubrey Bailey led Alma with 10 kills, Harness and Taylor Short had five each and Haley Ostrander had 27 digs on defense.
Alma is sitting at the No. 4 seed in state but could improve its seed with matches coming up with No. 2 Morrilton and No.3 Harrison.
"We could get as high as the No. 2 seed if we sweep those matches," Drinkwitz said. "Both of them were five-set losses the first time around. It should be very competitive."