It’s not every year that a volleyball program comes across a Jr High team that is just as equally matched as their Sr High squad from top to bottom. In most cases, Jr High sports gives coaches the chance to mold their players into Sr High supremacy. But this season, Coach Kaylie Pyles has struck the good fortune of having not one team who could very easily go on to become conference champions but two teams. The Jr Lady Tigers are fitting in rather nicely in their new conference home of 2A volleyball.
The girls had a busy first week of conference play taking on the Mulberry Lady Yellowjackets on August 25 and the Eureka Springs Lady Highlanders on August 27. The Jr Lady Tigers completely dominated Mulberry winning sets of 25-1 and 25-2. Cole Smith finished the match with 15 aces while Kynslee Ward made six, and Rachel Johnson secured one. Alyson Edwards ended the evening with one kill.
For their second match of the week, Mansfield wasn’t deterred by the fact of having to face the Lady Highlanders on their home court. In fact, not only did they delight in the thought of it but they took charge of the situation by ruling with an iron hand. After commandeering the court, the Jr Lady Tigers earned a 2-0 win with sets of 25-11 and 25-7. Cole Smith attained seven aces, two kills, and two assists. Harlie Fuller got a hold of six aces, one kill, and seven assists. Alyson Edwards bagged three aces, five kills, and two digs. Kynslee Ward landed two kills and six digs. Rachel Johnson gained 13 aces and three kills. And Trinity Triska wangled in two digs.
“It was a very successful first week within a new 2A conference,” explained Coach Pyles. “I am really proud of the way the Jr High girls stayed focused throughout both games. They played extremely well. We are now 2-0 in conference play and I’m hoping by this time next week we will be 5-0!” The Jr Lady Tigers have an even busier schedule next week as they face three top-notch opponents back to back. On August 31, the Jr Lady Tigers will dance with the Waldron Lady Bulldogs on Mansfields home court. Then on September 1, the Lavaca Lady Golden Arrows will throw down with the Lady Tigers in red and white territory. Finally, Mansfield will close shop with their away game against Thaden, a newly added to the 2A conference private school.