Callie Harmon began last Tuesday’s 7A/6A-Central volleyball match for Greenwood by serving an ace.
It was a preview of things to come for the Lady Bulldogs. Greenwood recorded a total of 31 aces, with Harmon accounting for 15 of those, as the Lady Bulldogs easily swept Little Rock Hall, 25-7, 25-9, 25-4.
“We were spot calling our serves, too, so we got a little practice in on that,” Greenwood coach Jennifer Golden said. “We got to the point where we have our spot serves and then I call a little bit tougher serves and they go for them and they get them and it’s OK if they don’t.
“But we’re at the point where we’ve just got to go for it sometimes and we did and a few times, we got some really aggressive serves in, which I thought was good.”
Entering last Tuesday’s match, Greenwood (7-3, 2-2) had served a total of 137 aces and registered a serving percentage of 91.8. Both those totals trended upward as the match went on.
On four separate occasions, Lady Bulldogs turned in three consecutive aces. Junior Abbey LeJong was the first to do so, getting her three straight aces as part of an 11-0 run in the first game as Greenwood staked out a 19-4 advantage.
Harmon then turned in a hat trick for aces while she served the second game, when the Lady Bulldogs raced out to an 11-0 lead. Later in the second game, freshman Madi Pfeifer had three consecutive aces, the last upping the lead to 19-3. Pfeifer also had two kills to begin the game and also had a kill to end it as Greenwood went up in the match two games to none.
In the third game, Harmon began the scoring with three consecutive aces. She added six more aces as Greenwood built a commanding 15-0 lead. The Lady Bulldogs served 13 aces in the final game, with LeJong posting an unreturnable serve in the back corner for match point.
“If you can’t get serves in, you can’t win a game and coach Golden always tells us that,” Harmon — a junior setter — said. “Serving can be a huge strength but it can also be a huge weakness, so we work on it a lot and we have to make sure we have to get our serves in.
“Really, I was just trying to get them over and in and focusing on where coach Golden was calling it and she actually had me serve around the world, which is spots one through six twice. Then she said, OK, serve seven, which is just serve as hard as you can, so I was just trying to keep the ball in play.”
The Lady Bulldogs were also wanting to take care of business quickly for another reason. They are about to enter a difficult stretch in the conference, playing at first place Southside on Thursday and at Conway on Sept. 24 before returning home to face Russellville and Northside.
“I would say it’s probably our toughest stretch,” Golden said. “It’s going to be grueling. We’re just going to have to get our mentality right, focus on what we need to do and just do what we can, just try our best. … We want to take one or two wins on the road, and hopefully we get the ones at home, it’s going to be tough.”
Pfeifer and Erin Black each had six kills in Tuesday’s win, while Maddie Gilliam and Caroline Scott added three kills each.