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The Ava Lady Bears improved their record to 5-5 and finished 2nd this past weekend at the annual Forsyth Tournament.
The Lady Bears defeated Sparta 25-21, 25-15, Conway 25-16, 25-22, and Bradleyville 25-4, 25-11 in pool play.
“We don’t typically play Sparta in pool play at Forsyth, so it was good for us to start the tournament strong by beating a team we don’t normally face and beating the first team that we played” said coach Sarah Lemons.
Next, the Lady Bears went into the semi-finals where they faced Blue Eye. The Lady Bears defeated Blue Eye in three sets with scores of 25-17, 15-25, and 25-21.
Coach Lemons commented: “Inconsistent serving really hurt the team in the Blue Eye game. We couldn’t get into a good rhythm in the second set to come out with a win there. But we were able to pull it together to win the third set which is something that we have been having trouble with this season.”
For the championship match the Lady Bears went up against Forsyth where they fell short 25-19, 20-25, 26-28.
During the first match the Lady Bears pulled ahead easily with strong serving from Emily Sterling, who was able to serve nine points in a row; and Cori Dry was able to serve a consistent four points as well.
The Lady Bears struggled for a brief moment where the Lady Panthers were able to serve six straight points as well.
The Lady Bears where able to pull out the victory during the first set with consistent hitting from Jorie Garrett and Sterling as well as great blocking from Erica Croney and Bethany Horn.
During the second set the Lady Bears just couldn’t get into a consistent run on points as in the first set.
“I tell the girls that when they serve to always try and get at least two points, if not more,” Lemons said. “Volleyball is a game about momentum and if we can consistently serve tough at an opponent it will keep the momentum on our side.”
The momentum just wasn’t on the Lady Bears side during the second set where they dropped it 20-25.
The final set was neck and neck through the whole match. The Lady Bears were able to pull ahead for a couple of points in the middle of the game but lost the lead due to poor defense.
“We were blocking whatever Forsyth could hit at us so they began tipping the ball at us and we just couldn’t pick it up,” added Lemons.
Once the Lady Bears lost the lead the teams were point-for-point until the end where Forsyth was able to put the game away.
“We played some of the best volleyball we have played all season at this tournament but we are still having issues of tipping the ball too much instead of hitting it. Once we get that figured out we will be an even stronger team.” said Lemons
The Lady Bears travel again to Forsyth this Thursday to take on the Lady Panthers with the freshmen starting at 5 o’clock.