Undefeated in South

The Bryant Lady Hornets remained undefeated in the 7A/6A South conference with a sweep of the Lake Hamilton Lady Wolves on Tuesday night at the Bryant gym. The Lady Hornets won 3-0 (25-17, 25-23, 25-14) and didn’t have a letdown after their rivalry match against Benton last week
“They played well,” Bryant Coach Beth Solomon said. “We had that big game at Benton Thursday night. They came back. I thought they played well. We had some moments that we weren’t at our peak.”
Those moments, though, were few and far between. Besides a stretch in the second set where Bryant seemed to lose its focus, the Laady Hornets handled the Lady Wolves without much problem. In that second set, which Bryant won by two points, the Lady Hornets were up 13-7 after senior Alyssa Anderson got a set from senior Hannah Rice and spiked it down for the point.
The Lady Wolves would tie it 15-15 after an 8-2 run where the Lady Hornets lost their focus and committed several unforced errors, but went on a 5-2 run of their own helped by Lake Hamilton errors and an ace by sophomore Abby Staton to take a 20-16 lead. Bryant would push it to 24-19 after a Rice kill, but the Lady Wolves went on a 4-0 run to get within a point, but served the ball out to give the game to the Lady Hornets.
“They did (lose focus), but they pulled it back together,” Solomon said. “That’s what’s important. Whenever they play, like they did Thursday night (against Benton), when they have to play hard, hard, hard, they come out and play a different caliber team, they know they don’t have to play as hard. We’re working on that. That’s one of the things we’re working on more is finishing. Luckily we have a cushion to use.”
Bryant began the first set in a 0-2 hole, but quickly remedied the deficit with a 4-0 run helped by two Rice aces. It was tied at 7-apiece before the Lady Hornets went on a 6-1 run which included senior Courtney Davidson’s ace and senior Brooke Howell’s kill. Bryant would go up 17-11 after consecutive kills from senior McKenzie Rice and junior Aubree Allen.
With the score 19-15, Hannah Rice made an excellent diving dig near the net to save a point and Lake Hamilton ended up hitting the ball in the net for the Bryant point.
McKenzie Rice and Anderson had a double block for a point to begin the third game which was a prelude to what the set was going to offer. The Lady Hornets would go up 9-3 before Lake Hamilton would fight back to 12-9, but Hannah Rice sandwiched two blocks around a Lady Wolves’ point and would finish the set with three solo blocks and an assisted block. Howell would have three kills during a Lady Hornet 6-1 run to end the game.
Hannah Rice had 27 assists to lead the team, had seven digs, four aces and four total blocks. Howell had 11 kills for the team lead, Anderson followed with eight and Davidson had six.
“Thursday night we have Fair (winless) here,” Solomon said. “So that will be another one where we really have to make sure we don’t play down.”
Bryant’s junior varsity was also victors against Lake Hamilton’s JV. The Lady Hornets won 2-0 (25-23, 25-15). Sophomore Mercedes Dillard had nine assists to lead the team and Allen had four kills, sophomore Rylee Phillips had three, followed by two kills each from sophomore Emily Henson, Dillard, and junior Erica Smith. Smith added two aces, Phillips had six digs for the team lead and sophomore Madison Greeno had five digs.
Hannah has gone on several different visits, several of the girls have. Brooke has been looking at several. She has two or three coaches looking at her right now. She’s got one heck of a hit.
It seems to be holding up pretty good. Kenzie not at full force is still better than a lot. So we’re fortunate to have her.