By Thomas Sellers Jr.
And the Bartlett Lady Panthers will host the River City Tournament this weekend giving several teams a chance to continue to build toward October. But prior to the calendar turning to the ninth month of the year, the Lady Panthers traveled to the William Osteen Gymnasium to take on the Millington Lady Trojans.
The Aug. 26 matchup gave both teams a chance take another step toward cohesion. Bartlett did just that while earning a 25-9, 25-13 and 25-12 victory.
“So far it’s been going good,” Bartlett coach Amber Land said. “We’re still really young and learning about each other. We’re on the up right now.
“Today was about focusing on the smaller things, making good passes, executing our hits, things we’ve been trying to work on in practices,” she added.
The first set saw highlights for both teams with the Lady Panthers holding a 10-7 advantage. Bartlett’s Hanna Klutts had a pair of spikes during that stretch. Another Klutts kill made the tally 11-7 and sparked Bartlett to a 11-1 run to build a21-8 lead.
When Lady Panther Dayah Brooks slapped a kill later in the set, Bartlett went on to take the first round by 16 points
Bartlett seized control of the second set behind the serving of libero Reagan Haney. The Lady Panthers jumped ahead 9-0 with a pair of Haney aces.
“Serves are a big thing for us right now,” Land noted. “I tell them all the time, ‘Get that first serve over and in. Then the next time it’s going to be harder.’ We’ve been working on that every single practice since the beginning of the season.”
Millington finally got on the board courtesy of Sky Clark. Her teammates Ally Marona and Bryuna Jeffries scored at the net for the Lady Trojans as well.
But Bartlett was too far ahead matching Millington point for point before prevailing 25-13 to go ahead 2-0 in sets.
The third set saw the Lady Trojans’ best start taking a 7-5 lead after Avery Smith hit at the net.
Bartlett deadlock the set at 7-7 with a Klutts kill. The Lady Panthers proceeded to outscore Millington 18-5 the rest of the set to earn the overall victory.
Now the Lady Panthers and Lady Trojans move into September and try to improve with the River City Tournament Land said her team’s mission building toward October remains the same.
“Still fine tuning those small things, keep working on what we worked on tonight,” she concluded.