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Alma starts strong at Huntsville 8/22/22

Alma starts strong at Huntsville

By Kevin Taylor

Alma Schools 

 

HUNTSVILLE — Alma coach Kim Weaver saw plenty of good things in Monday's benefit match with Huntsville and Springdale. 

She also will use the next few days working on service errors. 

“We want to serve aggressively, but we also want to give our offense a chance, too,” Weaver said. “I think, too, it helps us recognize the things we need more repetition at. Our serve-receive needs to be a little more consistent, too.”

Alma played five matches in all, with the junior varsity squad falling in a single set. The Airedales and host Eagles split two varsity games, with Huntsville coming from behind for a 26-24 victory and Alma holding on for a 25-23 win in the third set. 

Alma won both games against Springdale, 25-22. 

“I feel like we could have won that first (varsity) game with Huntsville,” Weaver said. “But it was good to get out and play and just be in the moment again. We had a lot of kids play really well.”

Alma trailed Huntsville 8-4 in the first varsity set before going on a nice run. Samantha Crook, who had five kills, gave Alma an 11-10 lead with a go-ahead tip. Miranda Gibson’s ace stretched the Lady Airedales’ lead to 19-15. 

Alma eventually built a 24-21 lead before falling, 26-24. 

The Lady Airedales appeared to be revved for the third set. Julia Nutt’s ace gave the visitors a 14-9 lead, and Zoe Thrift’s kill made it 14-9. Alma eventually led 16-9 before Huntsville flipped the momentum with a 9-0 run and an 18-16 lead. 

Just like that, however, Alma fought back. 

Layla Boyd’s ace tied the match at 18 and Rachel James put Alma ahead, 19-18. James finished with six kills. 

A pair of Jenna Williams kills gave the Airedales a 24-20 lead. 

Weaver was pleased with Thrift and sophomore Mabrey Birchfield’s play. 

“You can practice and practice, but until you put the jersey on and step into a game, I thought Zoe and Mabrey did a nice job, especially with Mabrey being a sophomore and being in the starting lineup. That’s a lot to manage, and I thought she managed it really well.”

Against Springdale, Alma built a quick 8-5 lead thanks to a pair of Birchfield aces. Alma pulled ahead, 14-11, thanks to kills from James, Williams, and Crook. 

In the second set, Williams’ vicious smash gave Alma a 13-7 lead. Nichols, who led Alma with 11 total kills, added a kill late to extend the lead to 18-10. 

In addition to her six kills, James finished with a team-high 16 assists. Nutt added 13.