BY NORM BETZ –
The Mena Ladycats kicked off their 2015 season with a grueling 12 games within a 10-day span. The Ladycats ended their first two weeks with an overall record of 11-1 during that stint and look to continue their winning ways when they return to action on September 14th, when they host Lavaca.
“We’re playing well right now when you consider we have a completely different offense and defense that we’ve implemented this year,” explained Ladycats head coach Brad Lyle. “We’re still working out the kinks of it all, but we’re headed in the right direction for sure.”
The Ladycats finished this stretch on the road, sweeping Jessieville in three straight games, 25-13, 25-13 and 25-14. Mena dominated the Lady Lions in every aspect of the game and only trailed twice in the match and both of those times were when Jessieville opened up the first and third games with a point.
“We are improving with every game,” said Lyle. “We’re attacking our opponents totally different this year and from everywhere on the court.
Junior Sealy Thigpen and senior Jordan Ward each served for seven points in the opening game, while seniors Madelyn Brotherton and Daryan Torix provided the kills for the Ladycats.
The Ladycats never trailed in the second game, went up 7-1 before giving the Lady Lions a chance to climb back into the game, 10-9, but Mena refocused and rattled off six straight points behind the serving of senior Brooke Hines. Junior Reagan Sikes followed up with straight service points, while Torix and Brothers continued to dominate the net. Thigpen also jumped into the action in the front court with three kills in the game.
Mena remained focused in the final game of the match, defeating Jessieville, 25-14, on their way to a 3-0 sweep of the Lady Lions.
Earlier in the week, the Ladycats dropped their first match of the season to a very good 6A Greenwood team at Greenwood. The Ladycats lost three straight to the Lady Bulldogs, 25-20, 25-11 and 25-17.
Mena had to regroup and refocus because the Ladycats hosted 6A Benton the very next day. Benton was one of just two teams to defeat Mena last season.
“The Greenwood game definitely made the girls think about things,” said Lyle. “They were focused for the Benton game and were out for revenge from last season’s loss.”
The Ladycats swept the Lady Panthers in three straight, 28-26, 25-16, and 25-20.
Mena will next be in action on Monday, September 14th, when they host 3A Lavaca. First serve is set for 4:30 p.m., with the seventh grade playing first, followed by the junior high and finally the varsity Ladycats wrapping up the night.