Lions outlast Lady Devils

Lions outlast Lady Devils

Searcy bests West Memphis in four sets

WM School District The West Memphis Lady Devils started fast, but faded in the end last Thursday at Lehr Arena, losing a four-set volleyball match to Searcy.

After having no trouble winning the first set, 2520, the Lady Devils lost the next three sets 16-25, 19-25 and 22-25.

The Lady Devils played most of the evening without freshman setter Presley Crader, who turned her ankle fairly early in the first set and did not return to action. Head coach Erica Lear said losing Crader was a blow to the team's fortunes.

'Presley runs the offense for us,' said Lear. 'She can get the ball to our big hitters and she has a little bit more experience in the setting position. That really hurt us tonight.'

After falling behind 23-8 in the third set and the momentum clearly turned toward Searcy, West Memphis senior Chloe Kauffman rallied the Lady Devils with several of her team-leading 13 kills. It was her emotional responses after each kill that seemed to turn the tide for the Lady Devils, who rallied to make it interesting in that set.

'We definitely got the momentum back several times,' said Lear.

'(Kauffman) is probably one of our most emotional players, but unfortunately we only have her in three rotations. We're trying to work on that to keep her on the floor more. I was happy going into that fourth set because of the comeback.'

Sophomore Delanie Johnson added 12 kills for the West Memphians while Cimya Stokes and Ta'Nya Burnett each registered three kills.

Defensively, senior Anna Nelson led the charge with 28 digs while senior Cameron Aaron, in relief of Crader at setter, had a team-high 19 assists.

Stokes was the Lady Devils' top server, going 24 of 25 with two aces.

By Billy Woods