SMITHVILLE – After coming off a big win against their conference rival Grace Christian last Monday night, Amory Christian got a 3-0 sweep against Smithville on Thursday to remain undefeated on the season.
The Lady Lions took the first set 25-8 after their serving gave them a mid-set spark that lifted them to the win. They finished off the sweep with 25-14 and 25-22 wins in the final two sets.
“Our serving was the key to this win,” Amory Christian coach Melissa Baker said. “Lexie (May) played amazing tonight. I know she had like 13 aces for us, and Lauren Jones had a big night serving too.”
Smithville started off the first set serving the ball well as they jumped to a 5-2 lead after multiple aces from Breana Cathcart and Audrey Summerford. A kill from Allison Underwood tied the game up, and the Lady Lions started to go on a run to pull away from the Lady Noles.
Three aces in a row from Lauren Jones and a kill by Bre Hawkins extended Amory Christian’s lead to 14-8, and Smithville called a timeout. After the timeout, the Lady Lions continued to serve the ball well midway through the set.
Six straight aces from May and a block from Molly Hallmark gave the Lady Lions a 21-8 lead, and they closed the set out after a kill by Faith Keeton and an ace by May.
Amory Christian’s hot night serving the ball continued in the second set as they took an early 9-2 after multiple aces from Keeton and Underwood. A kill and block from Tristin Price helped trim the Lady Lions’ lead down to five, but the Lady Lions went on another run and took a nine-point lead on a kill from Keeton.
The Lady Lions took a double-digit lead late in the set after multiple aces from Hawkins, but Smithville continued to fight. A Cathcart ace and a kill and block from Orlandria Smith cut the lead down to seven, but a block at the net from Underwood sealed the set win for Amory Christian.
In the third set, the Lady Lions took an 11-6 lead after kills from Keeton and Hallmark. A pair of kills from Smith and an ace from Summerford gave the Lady Noles momentum as they cut Amory Christian’s lead down to two points.
After an ace from Keeton put the Lady Lions up by five, Smithville called another timeout. The Lady Noles managed to go on a run led by Smith and Cathcart after the timeout and tied the game up at 18-18 after a kill from Smith.
The Lady Lions regained their lead after an Underwood ace and kill from May, but Smith came right back with back-to-back kills to tie the game up. After a kill from Hallmark, Amory Christian put an end to the set with an ace from Jones.
May finished the game with four kills and 13 aces, while Hawkins and Jones added a combined total of 11 aces. Underwood had three kills and three aces, and Keeton and Hallmark both contributed five kills on the night.
“Tonight was an overall great night for all of the girls,” Baker said. “They give it their all every game, and they work hard in practice. Smithville has a great, young team, and we enjoy matching up against them.”
For Smithville, Smith finished with a total of 12 kills, while Summerford and Cathcart combined for eight aces.
Last Monday, ACA beat Grace Christian 3-1, dropping the first set 25-20 before winning the next three, 25-20, 25-15 and 25-21.
May led the match with 11 kills, while Underwood added seven kills and four blocks. Hallmark had six kills, and Jones finished with nine aces with Keeton adding four aces.