FAYETTEVILLE -- Fayetteville was challenged at times Tuesday evening, but had an answer every time en route to the 25-16, 25-19, 25-22 6A-West Conference win over Bentonville at Bulldog Arena.
The Lady Purple Bulldogs trailed in each set, including 15-12 in the third. But they responded with a 6-1 run to grab the lead for good to remain in a first-place tie with Springdale Har-Ber in the 6A-West.
Junior Maddie LaFata had three of her eight kills in the evening in that run to put Fayetteville (12-1, 4-0 6A-West) back in control. Brooke Rockwell finished with a match-high 14 kills, while Regan Harp chipped in with nine.
Fayetteville coach Jessica Phelan was definitely pleased with her team's offense that includes several different options.
"I think that makes us hard to defend when you have a lot of different weapons that can put the ball down," Phelan said. "And in pressure situations they aren't afraid to take a big swing so that makes our setters job easy when she has lots of people to distribute the ball to.
"I think offensively we had a pretty good night. We were in system with serve receive. Credit Bentonville, they always play good defense. I think we had to make plays.
Setter Kennedy Phelan dished out 40 assists, while junior Ella Weilert led the defense with 12 digs for the Lady Purple'Dogs.
Phelan said her team continues to get more comfortable together on the court, especially coming off winning the Tulsa Bishop Kelley Tournament of Champions over the weekend. The Lady Purple'Dogs went 5-0 over Friday and Saturday and won a five-set thriller over the host team in the finals.
"I think anytime you get to play that many matches, you kinda get in rhythm," Phelan said. "It helps just to get to play together especially early in the season. I do think we continue to get more comfortable with the rotations and the hitter-setter connection, that kind of thing.
"I feel like we've been really battle-tested. We've played a lot of really tough matches here the last few weeks. You have that been there, done that factor. Even if the score gets close they still have confidence in their ability to make plays in tough situations because they've been in some tough situations."
Trinity Hamilton led the Lady Tigers attack with 11 kills, while Lilly Thompson finished with a team-best 11 assists for Bentonville (8-4, 1-3).
The Lady Tigers travel to Rogers to continue league play on Thursday, while Fayetteville plays at Springdale High.
Springdale Har-Ber 3, Bentonville West 0
The Lady Wildcats remained undefeated with a 25-14, 25-13, 25-21 win over the Lady Wolverines.
Kat Cooper led the way with nine kills and five aces, while Caylan Koons dished out 31 assists for Har-Ber (12-0, 4-0 6A-West). Kinleigh Hall added seven kills and five blocks, while Jose McCroskey finished with a match-high 18 digs.
Fort Smith Southside 3, Rogers Heritage 0
Setter Kennedy Meadors put together a big effort with 23 assists, 16 digs and five aces to lead the Mavericks to a 25-17, 25-17, 25-16 win over the Lady War Eagles.
Toree Tifee also had a nice all-around match with nine kills, 10 digs and four aces, while Olivia Melton added eight kills. Tinsley Freeman led the Southside (8-3-2, 3-1) defense with 11 digs.
Rogers High 3, Springdale High 1
Abby Harris put up a double-double with 11 kills and 25 assists and also served up two aces to lead the Lady Mounties to a 24-26, 25-18, 25-11, 25-23 win.
Olyvia Hall added seven kills and 10 digs, while Lakyn Hawthorne chipped in nine kills for Rogers (8-4, 2-2). Madison Rhea anchored the defense with 16 digs.
Shiloh Christian 3, Huntsville 0
Madelyn Sestak and Ryan Russell cranked nine kills each to lead the Lady Saints to a 25-6, 25-15, 25-9 win over Huntsville in 4A-Northwest Conference play.
Bella Bonanno served up six aces to go with nine digs, while Laila Creighton dished out 27 assists and added three aces for Shiloh Christian (12-2-1, 7-0). Rylee Kallesen also contributed five aces.
Van Buren 3, Mountain Home 2
Bryslin Oden hammered 12 kills to lead the Lady Pointers to a five-set win.
Avary Smith added nine kills, while Brianna Ball contributed 14 assists and six kills.
Fort Smith Southside def. Rogers Heritage, 3-0
Rogers High def. Springdale High, 3-1
Springdale Har-Ber def. Bentonville West, 3-0
Fayetteville def. Bentonville, 3-0