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Team Effort Propels Lady Airedales to Sweep 9/10/21

Team effort propels Lady Airedales to sweep

Alma Volleyball def. Siloam Springs, 25-21, 25-23, 25-10

Next Up: Alma at Russellville, Tuesday (9/14)

By Kevin Taylor

Alma Schools 


Jenna Williams helped set the tone for the Alma Lady Airedales' volleyball team Thursday night. But she had plenty of help, too. 


Rebekah McIntosh finished with nine kills, and sophomore Miranda Gibson had a career-high four kills in an expanded role as the Lady Airedales rolled past Siloam Springs 25-21, 25-23, 25-10 at Charles B. Dyer Arena. 


Williams added eight kills and a team-high 16 digs. 


Alma (4-6, 1-1) led 20-12 in the second set before Siloam Springs rallied for a 20-20 tie. Mia Nichols’ go-ahead kill helped foil the Lady Panthers’ run. 


Later, tied again at 21, Williams put the Lady Airedales ahead for good (22-21) with another kill thanks to Rachel James’ nice feed. James finished with 14 assists, 13 digs, and four kills. 


“Our energy was high,” James said of Alma’s narrow win in game two. “Usually we get down on ourselves, but today we had each other’s back.”


“Game two showed that, even when you get down and you’re struggling, you have to stay up the whole time,” Williams said. “Positivity is the key.”


Coach Kimberly Weaver hopes the slim victory in the second game can be a turning point. 


“I think it was a challenge that we needed to prove to ourselves that we’re capable of overcoming,” she said. “That will serve us for the rest of the season. Being able to refocus and push away the distractions of what just happened, and focus on what’s next.”


The Lady Airedales, who hit the road Tuesday for a match at Russellville, carried the momentum into the third set, where they ran out to an 8-0 lead. 


Then, as Siloam Springs began to rally, closing to within 12-9, Alma stepped on the gas for a 15-point win — the team’s largest conference point differential since blasting Huntsville, 25-8, in the opening set of a Sept. 20, 2012, victory. 


Thursday’s win was a game of runs and missed serves — and a lot of Lady Panther errors. 


“I think if we can serve well, we can pass well, we can compete with anybody,” Weaver said. “Getting points from the serve helps compensate for when not putting points on the board. We have to find points from somewhere.”


Alma overcame some early Siloam Spring runs to battle for a 25-21 victory. Then, after battling back to win game two, the Lady Airedales enjoyed their first 3-0 conference sweep since a 3-0 win over Clarksville on Oct. 12, 2017. 


“We had lots of kids make plays; they deserve to feel what this feels like,” Weaver said. “I’m proud of them for that.”


Two sophomores, Gibson and Julia Nutt contributed in a big way. Nutt added seven assists and Gibson was 4-of-8 on kill attempts. 


“Miranda is probably one of the steadiest players I’ve coached on any level,” Weaver said. “She just is solid. She’s not flashy, but you know what she’s going to give you. She’s filling a role that we needed to be filled.”