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Lady Airedales Happy with Benefit Split 8/20/21

Lady Airedales happy with benefit split

By Kevin Taylor

Alma Schools 


Alma won a set it might have lost a year ago. They lost a set they should have won, too. 

But Alma volleyball coach Kimberly Weaver came away pleased with Thursday's Benefit match with Huntsville and Springdale. 

Alma swept the Lady Eagles, 25-10 and 25-22, but dropped a two-set match to the Lady Bulldogs, 26-24 and 25-16. 

Alma led the opener, 11-3 and 22-20 before falling late.

After breezing to an easy win in the first set against Huntsville, Alma dug itself a big hole in the second game, falling behind 19-13. 

Alma didn't waver.

"I think for us, it's huge," Weaver said. "I know every team is this way, but we struggle with making mistakes and being about to regroup and refocus on the next play. For them to be able to do that in the first match of the year is really exciting. I hope it gives them some confidence, knowing that there are swings in the game; you can never not overcome it."

"When you only play to 25, you have to take care of business."

The Lady Airedales, who open the regular season Monday against Charleston, got nice efforts from juniors Rachel James, Jocelyn Harless, Jenna Williams, and Laila Boyd. Sophomore Julia Nutt also played well. 

Boyd stepped in as the team's defensive specialist after Kylie Chau left the team. She immediately set the tone in the first set with a trio of aces. 

"We had some roster changes," Weaver said. "She (Boyd) also plays right side (hitter) for us. She has worked incredibly hard this spring and this summer. Her improvement is really impressive.

"She brings the same level of intensity every day."

"I feel (comfortable) at middle back and libero," she said. "We have to communicate and not step over each other."

Boyd hopes beating Huntsville will give the team needed confidence moving forward. 

"It was amazing to see all of us fighting together," she said. "It creates so much energy on the court."

"When we get down, we tend to work really well together as a team to build each other back up," James said. "Someone might shank a pass, but you have to come together and get that next point. That's how we came back."

With the exception of James, and few players sprinkled in, such as Williams, Harless, and senior Rebekah McIntosh, Alma has turned over much of its roster. 

"With the team camps, that's really showing on the court," James said. "I think it may take a little bit of time, but I think we're showing improvement."