Lady Tigers amass eight wins in last eight days

There may have never been another week like this for Skyline’s volleyball team. 

The Lady Tigers won eight matches in eight days, including five in the Forsyth Tournament as they won the championship. Overall, they improved their record to 11-0. Not only are they undefeated, they have not yet lost a set.

Skyline’s top priority this week was to win the Forsyth Tournament because the team came so close last year, losing to Blue Eye in the finals.

“Our eye this year was on winning the tournament,” said coach Shawna Bybee. “We got tested and there were teams in there that weren’t going down easily. With that being said, I was pretty impressed with the girls on how they handled it and what they did to come out with some strong wins.”

Both Clever in the semifinals and Forsyth in the finals offered some tough competition. Skyline edged Clever 25-20, 27-25 and Forsyth 25-10, 25-22. 

In the match with Clever, Ella Dougherty had nine kills and Leah King racked up 21 assists. Jadyn Foster added seven kills and Angelina Curtis and Dougherty each had six digs.

Against Forsyth Alyee Gunter had 11 good serves and Curtis had nine.

“By the time we played Forsyth we were tired,” Bybee said. “I mean five games of volleyball all day with a minimum break is hard. I told the girls before the championship match that mental toughness needs to pull out right now. Again, very proud with how they responded to some tough-fought games.”

The tournament started with pool play, with each match being two sets. In the opener Skyline slammed Fordland 25-6, 25-16. The Lady Tigers then defeated Ava 25-18, 25-13 as Gunter executed 14 good serves and Foster had seven kills.

Skyline had to come from behind to beat Blue Eye 25-21 in the first set and prevailed 25-13 in the second. The Lady Tigers trailed 21-19 in the opening set, and Bybee said she yelled at them for not playing good defense. They responded by not allowing another Blue Eye point.

“After the first set I told them the respect they have for me is a whole next level,” Bybee said. “Some players and teams would have shut down if their coach yelled at them like that, and my girls did the opposite.”

In a regular-season home match against Tipton on Sept. 8, Skyline easily prevailed 25-10, 25-9, 25-16 as Dougherty executed 11 kills and Gunter had six digs. Dougherty also had 14 good serves with four aces and Grace Edge added 12 good serves with six aces. Angelina Curtis had 11 good serves.

On Thursday, Sept. 10 the Lady Tigers traveled to Buffalo and won 25-11, 25-19, 25-18 as King racked up 26 assists. Foster had 10 kills and Dougherty eight. Gunter came up with 20 digs.

“We came out completely flat against Skyline,” Buffalo coach Carmen Smith said. “They have a good team, and we couldn’t seem to wake up to compete. We have had some good practices since then, and hopefully that helps us in upcoming games.”

She added that the Lady Bison seem to be on an every other game win-loss situation, and they need to get over that.

“We can be a very tough team to beat when we want to come together as a team and play the way we know we can,” she said.

Earlier in the week the Lady Bison defeated Conway 25-22, 19-25, 25-22, 25-22.

“We had a good game against Conway, the girls were talking and moving well on defense,” Smith said. “Andrea Brown had a good hitting and blocking game that helped secure the win.”

On Monday of this week the Lady Tigers traveled to Stover and returned home with a 25-19, 25-13, 25-8 victory. Angelina Curtis amassed 15 digs and Foster had 11. Gunter and Foster each registered 14 good serves.

“In every game last week — Tipton, Buffalo, the tournament — it’s been about discipline, respect and most of all the love of the game,” Bybee said. “I give all the credit to my players. They are a fine group of young ladies that will do what I ask when I ask. That’s why they keep getting better.”

The Lady Tigers were scheduled to travel to Osceola last night (Tuesday) and will host Warsaw Thursday. They will play at home again on Tuesday, Sept. 22 against Ash Grove.

Buffalo was scheduled to travel to Stockton last night (Tuesday) and will play at Ash Grove Thursday. The Lady Bison will host the Buffalo Invitational Tournament Saturday.

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