MORRILTON — Alma coach Kim Weaver saw plenty of good things in Tuesday’s five-set 25-23, 19-25, 25-21, 21-25, 15-12 loss to Morrilton at Devil Dog Arena.
For starters, the first-year Lady Airedale volleyball coach saw a team that refused to quit. And Morrilton certainly gave them plenty of chances to roll over.
Down 14-7 in the third set, Alma rallied for a 25-21 victory to send the game to a fifth and deciding set.
Once again, Alma dug themselves a 10-3 deficit in the fifth game. But again, the Lady Airedales fought to within 11-10 before running out of time.
“I’m super pleased with their effort and the fact that we never quit,” Weaver said. “We were fighting until the last point in the fifth set. Obviously, I want our kids to feel like what it is to win a moment like that, instead of feeling the frustration of a loss — I’d rather that motivation is towards winning instead of a loss.
“But I think that this fifth set is going to prove very beneficial to us down the road.”
Alma dropped the first set, 25-23, and was on the verge of falling behind 2-0 after Morrilton claimed a 17-12 lead in the second set.
But the Lady Airedales outscored the Devil Dogs 13-2 the rest of the way. Alma had a 16-13 lead in game three before falling late.
Lillie Warnock led the way with 16 kills. Rebekah McIntosh had 11 kills, and Bella Nutt dished out 38 assists.
Senior Sidney Hatley added five aces. Lettie Crabtree also served well.
“What we’re struggling with is fixable,” Weaver said. “Tonight will really motivate them to really press into what we’re trying to train them in practice because it will help make it much better in a match.”
Alma hosts Hackett Monday night.
Bryslin Oden paced the Lady Pointers with 11 kills and Brooke Moore added seven in Tuesday’s season opener loss to Southside.
Southside won in three 25-13, 25-16, 25-22. Bri Ball led with 12 assists.
“The girls fought hard,” said coach Brent Reeves.
-- George "Clay" Mitchell, Van Buren