HAMILTON – The Hamilton Lady Lions found their groove to take their second division win of the season in a 3-0 sweep over Smithville.
The Lady Lions put together a solid first set to walk away with a 25-10 win, and they held off Smithville in a back-and-forth second set to win 25-20. Hamilton closed things out in the third, winning 25-12.
“We had a rough night in our last game against Smithville, but we figured it out a little bit more this time,” Hamilton coach Bryan Loague said. “This was probably the best that we’ve played in the past few weeks. The second set was a bit close because we served about five out in that set, which gave them some momentum. We did a better job flying around in that first and last set.”
Smithville’s Kyrsten Davis opened the first set with an ace to give the Lady Noles a lead. Three straight aces from Mallory Kendall allowed Hamilton to quickly gain an 8-2 lead.
The Lady Lions added to their lead as a kill by Abigail Gill increased the score to 14-4. Kamryn Jones cut into Hamilton’s lead with a block and a kill, but Kaylee Joslin’s ace gave the Lady Lions a 20-8 lead.
After back-to-back aces from Heidi Bigham, Gill closed out the first set with a kill.
The two teams traded blows in the second as there were seven ties early on in the set. Hamilton gained a 4-2 lead on a block by Laney Harrington, but Branigan Vaughn tied things up with a kill.
The Lady Lions took a 10-6 lead, but Smithville made another run to tie things up after a kill from Audrey Summerford. Hamilton strung together a late run to take a 19-14 lead on an ace by Gill.
The Lady Noles chipped the score down to 21-20 after a block by Jones and kill from Lakelyn Hitt, but Joslin had three straight aces to seal the set win for Hamilton.
The back-and-forth nature continued at the start of the third as there were six total ties in the set. Smithville gained a 9-7 lead after kills from Kelby Seales and Ali Swan, but Bigham tied things up with a kill.
The Lady Lions gained some momentum as they went on a 5-0 run to take a 16-11 lead after three straight aces by Bigham. Hamilton sealed the victory with a 9-1 run led by multiple points from Madison Mitchell, Kendall and Kylie Springfield.
“Kylie had a pretty big night at the net. She’s a setter, but she had a couple of kills and blocks for us,” Loague said. “When Heidi (Bigham) is on, she’s on, and she had a few good serves in that last set.”
Kendall finished with a team-high 12 aces, while Joslin added seven. Bigham tallied four kills and five aces, while Mitchell and Harrington both added five kills.
For Smithville, Swan led the way in kills with four, while Vaughn added three. Seales, Hitt and Jones each contributed a pair of kills.