A roundup of Crawford County volleyball.
Greenwood scored the first seven points of Tuesday’s conference opener at Alma, as well as the first six points of the second set as the Lady Bulldogs went on to record the sweep, 25-10, 25-6, 25-10.
The Lady Bulldogs also got 19 aces in Tuesday’s win. Senior Lilliah Pugh, who is a hitter, actually had the most aces with five. Another senior, Carrie Ciesla, added four while two more seniors, Brooke Shortes and Lexie Castillow, each had three.
Greenwood (9-4, 1-0) then started the second set by scoring six straight points, and an ace from sophomore Zoie Benton later made it 8-1 in the Lady Bulldogs’ favor. Ciesla then had three aces during a 9-0 run as Greenwood had its biggest lead of the set at 19 points, 22-3.
The Lady Bulldogs trailed 3-2 early in the third set before reeling off eight straight points to seize control.
Benton finished with six kills, with Abby Cagle and Camryn Presley each recording five kills, and Presley added two blocks. Shortes added 19 assists, and her and Lexie Castillow each had six digs. Ciesla had 11 assists as well.
For Alma Rae Smith and Cassidy Bates each recorded four kills.
On Thursday, Alma defeated Russellville in three sets, 25-17, 25-13, 25-23 and improved to 7-4 overall and 2-1 in 5A West play.
Wolverines roll past Van Buren
Bentonville West volleyball coach Julie Rowan doesn’t want to jinx anything by proclaiming the Lady Wolverines have arrived.
But she’ll gladly take the team’s 1-0 start to the 7A-West season.
The second-year program looked like a seasoned veteran in Thursday’s dominate 25-21, 25-11, 25-17 win over Van Buren.
“We have made a lot of improvements,” Rowan said. “Last year was such a rough year for us, so every win we get is really good for building confidence in the girls. (But) we’ve still got quite a few young girls. I thought we played pretty awesome.”
So did Van Buren coach Brent Reeves.
“We never could anything going against Bentonville West,” he said. “Every time we sent it over, they (Wolverines) put it down. We just never could get any momentum going.”
The Wolverines’ front row gave the slow-starting pointers fits. Sophomores Avery Kniss and Kortney Puckett defused Van Buren’s attack with block after block. West freshman outside hitter Emerson Traweek finished with six kills, and junior libero Shae O’Brien added four aces.
“That No. 22 (Puckett), she really did a good job, and the outside hitter (Traweek) did a good job,” Reeves said. “We were having to play defense the whole time, because they kept hitting it at us. We had a hard time getting our offense going.”
Van Buren (4-3, 0-1) has had a habit of overcoming slow starts this season. They nearly overcame Southside last week before losing in five, and they overcame two deficits last week against Alma.
They appeared to on their way to erasing a 20-15 deficit in the first set Thursday night, too.
But the 6-foot Puckett snapped a 21-all tie with one of her 15 kills. The Wolverines didn’t let up on the pedal, either.
West (5-2, 1-0) opened up a quick 11-2 cushion in the second game, and before Van Buren could muster any momentum the Wolverines’ lead swelled to 19-6.
“Avery did really well on the block and Kortney, she got a lot of kills,” Rowan said. “I think some of it was Van Buren, too. I don’t think they played as well as well as they have.
“We may have looked better, but I don’t know if we were significantly better.”
For Van Buren, Alex Dupree and Bekah Olienyk finished with seven kills apiece.
“Anytime you get an early loss, hopefully that wakes you up,” Reeves said. “Hopefully we’ll work a little harder and get after it more.”