GRAVETTE -- On Thursday, the Gravette Lions girls' varsity volleyball team came out on top against the Clarksville Panthers with a landslide victory, ending the match, 3-0. And, after competing in their third game this week, there's no sign of the Lions slowing down anytime soon.
Last week's game against the Huntsville Eagles was a close match. The first two sets ended with a four and two-point difference, but the Lions took the game and gained a victory over the Eagles by 11 points in the third set.
The game began with the Panthers' first serve, but the score was awarded to the Lions from player Graci Moffit, who tapped the ball to the gap left by the Panthers' left outside hitter. The first kill for the game came from Belen Nelson, who spiked the ball into left court, gaining the first set's third point. The Lions had a commanding lead, 22-9 at its highest. Eventually, the set ended at 25-12.
In the second set, the Panthers and Lions were neck and neck until the Lions broke off and took the lead, gaining 6 points consecutively at 14-8 and the Panthers couldn't catch up. As the match intensified, teams passed nine volleys over the net until the Panthers came up short and the match ended with a win for the Lions at 25-15.
In the third set, the Lions had a head start, gaining three points. Regardless, the Panthers kept up the pace, coming up behind the Lions. Each team scored one after the other. But it wasn't enough to beat the Lions who ended the set at 25-21. The win brought the Lions to 10 wins and one loss this season.
This was an important victory for the team because it helped them dig deep and push themselves harder.
"They played great," said Coach Britney Davis. "The girls came out and took care of business. This is our third game of the week and we have a tournament Saturday. So after a long week, they did really, really good."
The entire team came together and played aggressively.
"We tried to run a fast offense, and we implemented that. It was awesome."
"A few standout players we had were Ella Pinches, our sophomore outside. She's our floor captain, and she does a really good job leading the team as a really good passer -- a really good hitter," Davis said.
Another key player was
Belen Nelson, who "did a really great job blocking" and is "a really good server."
"We're not just a one-hitter team," Davis added. "We have multiple players on our team, so it's hard to highlight one when they all do so well."
"The Gravette volleyball team had an amazing week. We played three games and went 3-0 each night. A few players who stood out were Piper Batie, Ella Pinches, and Laney Chilton," Davis said in an email.
This week, the Lions were to the Farmington Cardinals on Tuesday (after press time) at Farmington High School. And then, they will host the Prairie Grove Tigers on Thursday, Sept. 22.
On Sept. 12, the Gravette girls defeated Thaden, Bentonville, 3-0, in a nonconference match by set scores of 25-22, 25-12 and 25-20.
Against Huntsville on Sept. 13, the Lady Lions won 3-0, with set scores of 25-21, 26-24 and 25-14.