After losing in the finals to Avery, Texas, of a Henderson State University Tournament over the weekend, the Benton Lady Panther volleyball team went to El Dorado to play the Lady Wildcats in 7A/6A South conference action on Tuesday night. Benton swept El Dorado 3-0 (25-15, 25-8, 25-7) to improve to 6-1 in the South and 11-4 overall.
"The first game started off kind of slow," Benton Coach Brandy Chumley said. "We were going through the motions. That second and third game we picked it up a lot. We started talking more and any time we communicate better, the level of play tends to get better. That's what we were focusing on and it worked."
Though the level of competition wasn't the greatest caliber, the Lady Wildcats are very athletic.
"They've gotten better since the last time we played them," Chumley said of El Dorado. "They're getting better, it was a long trip. That's what I tell [the Lady Panthers]. No matter who we're playing, we have to play our game and work on us."
Junior Allison Reynolds had eight kills to lead Benton and added two blocks, junior Xandra Lock had seven kills and four aces and sophomore Braxton Chumley had had nine assists to lead the team. Senior Sarah Carter had eight assists and three aces, and senior Kelsey Jenkins had six digs and three aces. Sophomore Ashlie Dintleman had five kills.
Senior Alicia Sandage, who was taken to the hospital in a match against Benton last week after getting hit in the head by a hard-hit ball, still isn't doing any volleyball action
"She's still having headaches so she's not practicing and not able to do anything," Chumley said. " She's trying to make it to school, but once she gets to practice, she still has a headache. We're trying to keep it quiet around her."
Chumley said Sandage is at least two weeks away from any volleyball action.
The Lady Panther junior varsity was also victorious. Sophomore Taylor Lindberg had five kills and three assists as Benton won over El Dorado's JV 2-0 (25-17, 25-21).
Sophomores Kiyonda Fisher, Morgan Henry and Chumley (also had three aces), and junior Molly Brannon each had two kills, and Brannon added three assists.
Sophomore Bailey Korte led the JV with six digs, Meadors had three digs and sophomore Jade Griffin had two aces.