By Donna Lampkin Stephens


Central Arkansas Christian swept its two 4A-Central volleyball matches last week to improve to 4-0 in league play.

Cade Smith’s Lady Mustangs, who swept Lonoke and Clinton in three games last week, improved to 6-2 overall. They played Little Rock Episcopal on Monday, Batesville Southside on Tuesday and will travel to Maumelle on Thursday, the Russellville tournament on Saturday and play host to Marianna on Tuesday, Sept. 18.

So it’s a big week for the Lady Mustangs’ hopes for a state tournament berth.

“There’s a good chance the next three (conference) teams we play are the ones, besides us, with the best chance to make the state tournament,” Smith said Sunday “We’ve got a lot of work cut out for us. We’re playing well and getting a little better. We still haven’t played the best teams in the conference.”

Starting the week, Batesville Southside was 3-1 in league play, Maumelle was 2-2 and Marianna was 4-1.

At Russellville, CAC will face Bryant and Waldron in bracket play.

Smith said senior middle blocker Kendall Krueger returned from an injury last week and saw action in two matches.

“She makes us deeper in some areas,” he said. “Our setter, Abby Sims, jammed her finger, and we’re hoping she can come back. Hayley Nichols will fill in if Abby doesn’t play.”

He said senior middle blocker Logan Tolbert continued to be very effective.

“We’re scoring quite a few points when she’s in, and Nichols and Krueger are doing a good job in the middle as well, so we’ve been more productive when Logan’s not in That makes a big difference. Our outsides don’t just punish the ball, but they take care of it. That’s important.

“We’ve got to keep getting better and we hope to be clicking on all cylinders at the right time.”

The first half of the conference round-robin schedule will wind up Tuesday, Sept. 18.