Ava Lady VolleyBears Drop First Match of Season at Sparta

The Ava Lady Bears had a tough season opener against the Sparta Lady Trojans Monday night, with both the junior varsity and varsity losing their first matches.
The JV lost 21-25, 21-25. The Lady Trojans jumped out to an 8-1 lead in the first set but the Lady Bears rallied back and battled before dropping the set.
The second set went on in much of the same way with the Lady Bears trading out points with the Lady Trojans and ultimately losing the set.
Sophomore Taylor Ernst led the teams in serves with 12 of 12, followed by freshman Paige Kimmons who was 8/9.
Freshmen Hannah Stafford, Kimmons and sophomore Haley Herrera led the team in attacks with each being 4/5.
The varsity match got started with a bang with the Lady Bears taking the first set 25-15. The Ava women looked very strong and consistent in the first match with strong serving from sophomore Sydney Snelson and freshman Alyssa Wallace.
The offense also held up their end of the deal by being aggressive and attacking the ball well, Coach Sarah Roy said. Junior Lauren Mendel led the team in kills the first set with 3.
The second set began in a completely different fashion with the Lady Bears falling behind early, and they never could catch up with the set ending 13-25.
The third set began very similar to the second with the Lady Bears falling behind but staying within striking distance of the Lady Trojans. Inconsistent serving really hurt the Bears’ momentum but that turned around when freshman Kayle Downs served five straight points to get the Bears within four of the Lady Trojans.
Senior Kathrin Buff pulled the team within two points to make the score 19-21 but it just wasn’t enough for the Lady Bears to take over control of the game.
Juniors Becca Elliott and Kate McDonald along with Downs each had one ace apiece. McDonald also led the team in digs with nine. Mendel led the team in kills with five, followed by Buff, Elliott, sophomore Claire Fossett and Haley Herrera who each had one kill to add.
The Lady Bears traveled to Springfield Catholic on Tuesday for JV and varsity play.
The VolleyBears will be at home tonight (Thursday) hosting Spokane, with the JV match beginning at 6 p.m.
On Saturday, the girls will play in the Forsyth Tournament.