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Team Effort Fuels 5-Set Win Over Vilonia 10/1/21

Team effort fuels 5-set win over Vilonia 

By Kevin Taylor

Alma Schools 


Little things like a back-row dig by sophomore Kylie Chau may not sound like much for the 7-12, 3-5 Lady Airedales’ volleyball team. 


But it’s a building block coach Kimberly Weaver believes has the team headed in the right direction. 


One dig after another.  


Chau’s 24th dig helped prevent Vilonia from grabbing a 16-15 lead late in the fifth set of a crazy 24-26, 25-21, 13-25, 25-20, 17-15 Alma victory - the school’s third conference win of the season. 


Alma finished 5-15 and 2-12, respectively, in 2020. 


“We need all the opportunities that we can get, where we have to make big-time plays in big-time situations, and we got that tonight,” Weaver said. “I think that is worth three days of practice. The value of a moment like this is super big.


“I’m super proud of the way the girls kept their composure and managed some tough situations.”


Alma, which travels to Fort Smith Saturday for the Fort Smith Invitational, could have easily been ahead 2-0 in the best-of-five match if not for a 26-24 loss in the first set. 


The Lady Eagles, who dropped to 2-6 in the conference, led wire-to-wire for a 25-13 win in the third game. 


“In the last few years, Vilonia has really improved,” Weaver said. “They used to not even have a built-in volleyball hour.”


Alma responded with a 25-20 victory in Game 4 and held an 11-7 lead in the fifth set before holding on.


Laila Boyd finished with 38 digs for the Lady Airedales - despite missing the first set with an elbow injury. Weaver, in fact, wasn’t sure she would be able to play. 


But Boyd, sore wing and all, gutted it out the final four sets. 


“She’s a really tough kid,” Weaver said. “She’s brought steadiness to our defense. I’m super impressed with how hard she’s working.”


Mia Nichols led a balanced attack with 12 kills. Rebekah McIntosh and Jenna Williams finished with 11 each. 


Williams’ last kill gave Alma the 17-15 win in Game 5. 


Rachel James and Julia Nutt added 25 and 10 assists, respectively. 


“It was a really important game in our conference because we had lost to them previously,” McIntosh said. “We really needed this win to boost our spirits and get us higher in the conference.”