By Stephanie Allen The Ava Middle School Volleyball teams hosted the Cabool Lady Bulldogs on Tuesday, September 21st. The 7th grade Bears did end up falling in two sets to the Bulldogs but not without a fight. Scores being 21-25 and 19-25. Girls serving aces in this game included Abigail Fortner, Katie Brooks, Taylor Sims, Claire McDonald, and Alyssa Boyd. Taylor Dry was dominant at the net being an offensive answer for the Bears, having 7 kills. Briella Pueppke and Chylynn Johnson also helped out in the front row having a kill each. The 8th grade Bears fought till the very end but could not hold Cabool’s 8th grade girls who lost in two sets, scores being 20-25 and 23-25. 8th grade girls serving aces in this game include Rilee Croston, Braelyn Willis, Hunter Strunk, Anna Studdard, and Ebanee Nelson. Anna Studdard led that group with 5 aces. I am proud of the girls for constantly sticking with teams and competing. We are learning to play with purpose and how to do that per position. We, as a whole, both 7th and 8th grade have to limit our mistakes and learn to capitalize on being in the lead and how that affects our momentum. We are excited to see Houston next and be able to put to use what we are working on in practice.
On Thursday, September 23rd the Ava Bears hosted the Houston Lady Tigers. The 7th Grade team won in two sets 25-8 and 25-7. The Bears serving game was extremely successful. Abigail Fortner and Chylynn Johnson both served 5 aces each. Katie Brooks and Taylor Sims also earned themselves an Ace serve. Lastly, Claire McDonald led having 8 aces herself. The girls looked very comfortable and strong in this competition. The 8th Grade Bears fought back and forth with the Tigers but ultimately couldn’t sneak out with the win. The girls went 3 sets, scores being 18-25, 25-19, 5-15. Houston had some big hitters but we held our own. Rilee Croston, Anna Studdard, and Hunter Strunk led in our defensive passes. All three also had great games in Serve, Receive. Croston also made a point to be consistent in serving. Ebanee Nelson was one to talk about in this game. Putting up a big block for the bears, consistently covering the floor or getting touches with that block. She stepped in a few times to play defense, while also leading the team in serving with most serves of the game and 4 aces. The Bears Middle School program will be ending shortly but they look forward to seeing a lot of these teams again on October 2nd in the Cabool Tournament.