Sometimes you just lose to a better team. That was the case Thursday night in Fort Smith as the Lady Mavericks of Southside High School swept the Paris Lady Eagles (2-1, 1-0) in a non-conference match, 3-0. The experienced and athletic Lady Mavericks made short work of the Lady Eagles. Paris played hard, but the hard-hitting front line of Southside proved to be too much for the young Lady Eagles. Paris could not match the intensity of the athletic and experienced Lady Mavericks.
It was a complete sweep for the Lady Mavericks as they defeated the Paris senior “B” team in two sets, and then swept the Lady Eagles in three sets in senior “A” play. Besides being a mismatch in classifications, the game was a stark contrast between a young, talented, and inexperienced Paris team and an experienced and very talented Southside team. But for the Lady Eagles, it was a no-lose situation. The experience gained by the young Lady Eagles will no doubt pay off for them later in the season as they strive to earn a state playoff birth. Paris faced a very aggressive front line from Southside, and the experience should help them as they return to conference play next week.
The Lady Mavericks talent is truly impressive. The team is led by senior Hannah Hogue who, according to her coach, verbally committed to play Division 1 collegiate volleyball in the Southeastern Conference for the University of Arkansas. Hannah committed to the Razorbacks her ninth grade year.
In addition to Hannah, there are at least two other players on the team that have a chance to possibly play Division 1 volleyball. And all of that talent was on full display Thursday night.
For Paris, this is a loss that the team should quickly forget. No one likes to lose, especially a Paris program that is built on winning championships. But the Southside match was an opportunity to learn and gain valuable experience that will payoff down the line. One thing is for certain, the Lady Eagles will not face anyone the rest of the season as good as what they saw Thursday night in Fort Smith. Paris should not be afraid of anyone after the game with the Lady Mavericks.
Paris ends a grueling first week of the season that saw the Lady Eagles play twice on the road, and open at home in conference play against rival Charleston. The Lady Eagles will resume conference play on Monday when they travel to Booneville to play the Lady Bearcats. The first match of the night begins at 4 p.m.
It will be important for Paris to quickly forget about the loss at Southside and be ready mentally to play on the road again on Monday night. The game with Booneville is another important conference match, and Paris cannot afford a letdown going into the match against the Lady Bearcats.
Paris is very talented and has a high ceiling with respect to how good they can become as a team. Monday night will be another test for this young team; a test to see how they can bounce back from adversity. And they will have to do it away from Paris Gymnasium.
My guess is that coach Jordan Devine will have her players ready to go, and I expect this team to bounce back strong against Booneville. It’s only the end of the first week of the season, but Paris finds themselves facing early adversity, and it will be a test for this young team. Paris fans need to be in Booneville on Monday to support their Lady Eagles!
And as always, Resident Press will be there to bring you all of the action!