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story.lead_photo.caption NWA Democrat-Gazette/J.T. WAMPLER Van Buren's Grace Dolittle tries to get the ball past Bentonville West's Avery Kniss (26) and Kortney Puckett Tuesday Sept. 18, 2018. Van Buren won the match in four sets.

CENTERTON -- Van Buren's hopes of remaining near the top of the 6A-West Conference volleyball standings took a wrong turn Tuesday night when it dropped the first set against Bentonville West.

The Lady Pointers didn't need long to regroup and put themselves back on course with a 3-1 victory over the short-handed Lady Wolverines in Wolverine Arena.

"This league is so tough, and you have to be on every night," Van Buren coach Brent Reeves said after the 23-25, 25-22, 25-19, 25-22 win. "To come to Bentonville West, which is a good team, and get a win on the road, this is big for us.

"It seems like we've been tense lately, so I've been trying to tell them to play ball and enjoy themselves. I want them to have fun, be confident and play to win. I thought they did. They kept their composure very well after a loss and played hard."

Van Buren (8-5, 4-2) briefly trailed 15-14 in the second game before it scored five straight points -- two on back-to-back aces by Grace Doolittle -- and eventually won the set -- and the Lady Pointers never trailed en route to a victory in the third game. West, however, had a 20-15 lead after an Emerson Traweek kill in the fourth game.

NWA Democrat-Gazette/J.T. WAMPLER Van Buren’s Zoe Morrison (right) gets the ball past Bentonville West’s Jayden Lindsey (left) and Kortney Puckett.

Van Buren, however, closed out the match with a 10-2 run. Bailey Brooks had three of her 11 kills during the Lady Pointers' outburst, including the kill that ended the match, while Alexandra Dupree had a team-high 15 kills and Madalyn Doolittle added 10.

"We talked about composure again," Reeves said. "I told the girls they had been playing well all night and to keep playing like they had been playing. It will turn the corner, so keep playing with composure."

West (10-10), which lost its share of first place in the league standings, was still missing starters Kerryann Ptacek and Paddi Gudivada after having four starters out during a weekend tournament in Springfield, Mo. Lady Wolverines coach Julie Rowan said she is hopeful those two will return for Thursday's match at Bentonville High.

Kortney Puckett, one of the starters who returned to the lineup, led the Lady Wolverines with 12 kills and added three total blocks, followed by Emerson Traweek with nine.

"Kerryann is one of our outside hitters and plays all the way around," West coach Julie Rowan said. "That position is a little bit of a struggle right now. Jayden Lindsey is stepping in and doing a good job, but it's just taking our middle to the outside.

"We just got outplayed. It's not because of who we are lacking. We started getting blocked some, and our hitters didn't handle that. Several of our hitters had a ton of errors, but our serving -- that will be our number one focus in practice."

Bentonville High 3, Springdale High 1

Savanna Riney had 13 kills and 14 digs as Bentonville bounced back from a first-set loss for a 22-25, 25-17, 25-12, 25-23 win at Springdale.

Cait Hudgens added 11 kills and 17 digs for the Lady Tigers (7-9, 5-1), who maintained a share of first place in the 6A-West with the win. Meagan Atchison added 25 assists and 12 digs, and Taylor Shapley contributed 12 assists.

Lauren Bench had five kills, seven blocks and eight assists for the Lady Bulldogs. Faith Morgan added three kills, two blocks and 11 assists. Taina Miller and Jada Potter combined for five kills and 14 blocks, and Jesslynn Wells added 21 digs.

Springdale Har-Ber 3, Rogers High 1

Tori Sugg put down a team-high 12 kills to help the Lady Wildcats maintained a share of first place in the 6A-West with a hard-fought 25-18, 22-25, 26-24, 25-17 win over Rogers.

Jayci Carpenter chipped in 11 kills, while Molly Kingston contributed 15 digs and four aces. Setter Lauren Cloud handed out 30 assists and added four aces for Har-Ber (11-4, 5-1 6A-West).

Freshman Rylie Martin and sophomore Gracie Carr led Rogers (5-15, 1-5) with 12 kills each. Freshman Abby Harris led with 21 assists and two aces. Anna Randels added 16 digs. Freshman Kate Miller also contributed five blocks.

Fayetteville 3, Rogers Heritage 0

Rosana Hicks had 15 kills and Ameila Whatley nine kills to lead Fayetteville to a 25-19, 25-12, 25-9 win over Rogers Heritage.

Jaden Weller added 20 assists and Gracyn Spresser 15 assists for the Lady Bulldogs (9-11, 4-2). Yanisbeth Sanchez and Kynadll Strickland led Heritage (1-11, 0-6) with five kills each. Berenice Morales added 14 digs and Tayonna Wilson chipped in four blocks for the Lady War Eagles.

6A-CENTRAL

Fort Smith Southside 3, Little Rock Central 0

Sophomore Avery Fitzgerald registered a double-double with a match-high 13 kills and 10 digs to help Fort Smith Southside to a 25-16, 25-16, 25-13 win over Little Rock Central on Tuesday night.

Hannah Holland added nine kills and four blocks, while Emily Bass had a team-high 19 digs and two aces for the Mavericks, who improved to 17-2 and have now won 14 straight matches.

5A-WEST

Greenwood 3, Alma 0

Abby Cagle put down a match-high 12 kills to lead the Bulldogs to a 25-11, 25-16, 25-11 win over Alma on Tuesday.

Sophomore Larkin Luke added eight kills, while junior libero added eight digs and three aces for Greenwood (11-4).

Preps Sports on 09/19/2018

Print Headline: PREP VOLLEYBALL: Van Buren regroups, knocks off West

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