With four new starters being broken in on a team that made a run to the 3A state championship last year, Paris coach Wes Davis wasn’t quite sure what he would get when the Eagles opened the volleyball season against Rogers on Monday, Aug. 26.
After Rogers won in five tough games (22-25, 24-26, 25-8, 25-19, 15-10), Davis saw a lot more positives than negatives.
"We lost a great player from last year’s team in Haley Owen and we’ve got some other young ones coming in," Davis said. "But we are more athletic and more balanced than we have been in a couple of years and I see a lot of potential. They played well against a good team from 7A."
Paris (1-0) won the first game 25-22 in front of a rowdy crowd as sophomore Morgan Highfield made a kill on game point. In the second game, Delaney Wilks made back-to-back aces to finish a 7-0 run as Paris came back from a 24-19 deficit to win.
Rogers (1-0) steadied after that and won the third game easily to take the momentum. The Mounties also finished off the match strong, pulling away from a 11-11 tie in the deciding game.
"We are looking at some different lineups and part of that was my fault," Rogers coach Jenna Breedlove said. "I think we learned a good lesson in that second game that you have to put somebody away when you have them down like that, you don’t want them to get on a run."
Annelise Adrian had seven kills, Samantha Lassister had six kills McKenzie Muirhead five kills for Rogers. Kimi Davis made 13 digs at libero.
"I have a couple of girls that I’d like to clone and put them at a couple of different positions," Breedlove said. "But we’ve got to find some people that can play in those spots and we had four sophomores in the rotation tonight.
Daisey Mitchell led Paris with 14 kills and Jakyra Austin had two blocks. Highfield went out of the match in the third game with an injured finger and did not return, which helped to swing the momentum to Rogers.
"It looks like it might be broken," Davis said. "It was a factor because she brings so much energy to the game and she makes plays that only she can make. Knowing Morgan, she would probably bite it off and be back out there tomorrow, but we’ll just have to see how long it will be before she can come back."
In other action last week, Paris (2-1) beat Morrilton 18-25, 25-23, 15-11 in a three-way match before losing to Russellville 25-8, 25-20.
High School Volleyball
Rogers def. Paris 22-25, 24-26, 25-8, 25-19, 15-10